Sunday, 21 February 2010

You can't win, you can't get even, and you can't get out...

Yes, we've all lost The Game, let's get over it.

Aside from that, The Game is interesting.  For those who don't know, it's a fairly simple game with only three rules:
  1. You are playing The Game
  2. Every time you think about The Game, you lose.
  3. Loss of The Game must be announced.
Which, of course, generally leads to annoying web sites and rickroll style traps.  It's an insidious little mind-virus that sneaks up on you in all sorts of weird ways.  The classic 1980s film Wargames is full of references to "the game", and probably causes around twenty loses per viewing...but it doesn't end there, oh no.  Try watching Flight of the Navigator.  It doesn't reference The Game in any way, but it does send your mind trickling back to Wargames, which is now inextricably linked to The Game in your head.  And so on, and so forth...

The Venn diagram above gives a taster of how it's happened in my head.  A lot of it is based on internet memes, and the wonderful xkcd, but the interesting one for me is thermodynamics.  It's one of the first links my head made, which is probably not something to admit to, but that's the way my mind works. 

Take a look at those three rules back up the page.  Now compare them to the three Laws of Thermodynamics as paraphrased by C.P.Snow:

  1. You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved).
  2. You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases).
  3. You cannot get out of the game 
The rules of the two, The Game and The Universe, appear to be virtually interchangeable.  Which probably means something very significant about human nature, but this is enough geekery for one day.  Instead, here's a video linking Michael Jackson to The Game.

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