The Game

Informant Bio: The informant of this particular piece of Folklore is one of my best friends from home Jack Dunn. He is currently a freshman at USC as well and is majoring in business. He grew up in pasadena, california and played lacrosse in high school. In addition to lacrosse Jack also played lots of video games as a hobby. Additionally, he was very involved in school retreats during high school which corresponds with the fact that he told me this type of folklore. Many times on retreat type events with a lot of people, lots of quirky games are played.

Me: “So what exactly is ‘The Game’?”

Informant:”‘The Game’ is definitely the most basic, simple, and stupid game you will ever here or play. Essentially, all it is is that if you the phrase ‘The Game,’ you lose the game. Also, if you even think about The Game then you lose the game. It’s really stupid but it’s a game a lot of my friends have played.”

Me: “When was the first time you heard about ‘The Game’?”

Informant: “When I was in middle school, I went to a summer camp in Wrightwood and some kid at the camp introduced the game to me. He kept saying the phrase ‘The Game’ throughout the trip so I lost all the time.”

Me: “Is there any real purpose to the game or is it just how it sounds on the surface?”

Informant: “It really is the most basic game ever. Technically you can never win unless you just aren’t thinking about the phrase that makes you lose.”

Analysis: This game reminds me of many qwirky games that I learned about when I was a child. Also, it does not appear that this particular game has any specific cultural roots but rather it was a game that someone may have created just for humor. The informant was unaware of the original roots of the story so it was difficult to analyze exactly where it was created. Additionally, the informant was a guy who participated in lots of camps/retreats so this particular game must have been supplemented with additional games played at camps or retreats.