"Game Over"?

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A widely-reprinted picture from Danny-Ahmed Ramadan's twitpic feed, wtih the caption "on Qasr Nil bridge the lion says: Game Over Mubarak":


From "Ben Ali speaks in Tunisian 'for the first time'", 1/14/2011, showing the celebration in Tunis after Ben Ali left:

But the Qasr Nil lion is celebrating a little early.

For those without a classical education, Wikipedia explains that

Game Over is a traditional message in video games which usually signals the game has ended with a negative outcome. Notably used first in pinball machines and, later, arcade games, it has since been adopted widely and is now commonly associated with video games in general.

[Update -- Nijma Camelsnose, who sent me the Nile-bridge lion link, has pointed out an Al Jazeera story that explicitly compares the Tunisian sign to another Egyptian one.]

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59 Comments »

  1. Erik Zyman Carrasco said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    "For those without a classical education…" ← Excellent.

  2. Philip Spaelti said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    I once read that the most widely understood word in the whole world is 'OK', followed by 'Coke', as in cola. I think they should do the survey again, this time checking for 'Game Over'.

    Alex Garland, The Beach

    [(myl) Nice. The following paragraph is also relevant:

    Game Over is my favorite thing about playing video games. Actually, I should qualify that. It's the split second before Game Over that's my favorite thing.

    ]

  3. Twitter Trackbacks for Language Log » “Game Over”? [upenn.edu] on Topsy.com said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 9:34 am

    [...] Language Log » “Game Over”? languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2933 – view page – cached A widely-reprinted picture from Danny-Ahmed Ramadan's twitpic feed, wtih the caption "on Qasr Nil bridge the lion says: Game Over Mubarak": [...]

  4. Dave M said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    No doubt the Egyptians are getting it directly from video games (or not), but if an American were to say that I'd think they were quoting Bill Paxton's famous lament in Aliens.

  5. stormboy said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    This isn't the first time in the last week that I've seen 'Mubark' instead of 'Mubarak' in connection to the protests. Something to do with the fact that the short a isn't written in Arabic and so is left out of the English version? Or just a graffiti 'typo'?

  6. Jay Lake said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    Have you guys seen this analysis of Mubarak's recent speech:

    http://scrivenerserror.blogspot.com/2011/01/b129x.html

    Among other things, the post is a discussion of his selection of languages, something of likely interest here at LL.

    [(myl) There's a good discussion of this by R.L.G. at the Economist's Johnson Blog ("Mubarak's speech", 1/29/2011):

    HOSNI MUBARAK has given a strangely defiant speech in which he asserted that Egypt's uprising would not have happened if he hadn't given the people so much freedom of expression, among other things. On a rhetorical level, I think I'd caution him against blaming too much freedom right about now.

    But this being the language blog, I noticed something slightly more technical: Mr Mubarak avoided Zine el-Abidine ben Ali of Tunisia's gambit of giving his speech in dialectal Arabic. (It should be noted briefly that nobody speaks the modern standard Arabic as a native language. Each region has a distinct dialect, really a modern language descended from Arabic roughly like Spanish from Latin. But the modern standard is still almost always the choice for formal occasions like political speeches.) That was the first time Mr ben Ali had done so. He was clearly reaching for a Tunisian nationalism and fellow-feeling in speaking like the people do in their homes and on the streets. It failed.

    Mr Mubarak, by contrast, went for a gravelly and grave speech in modern standard Arabic. (Dubbed into English here, and in Arabic here.) His predecessor Gamal Abdel Nasser was known for using Egyptian colloquial in speeches, but Mr Mubarak was having none of it last night. Perhaps he felt like Mr Ben Ali's last move looked desperate. In any case, we'll remain glued to this fascinating and fast-moving story.

    ]

  7. languageandhumor said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 10:18 am

    On a side note, I think "game over" was first brought out of the arcade and into the popular culture in a big way by one of the most memorable and quoted scenes from the movie "Aliens" (1986). When the soldiers' escape shuttle back to the ship crashes en route to them (due to aliens killing the pilots), previously cocky Hudson (Bill Paxton) turns comic-relief whiny:

    HUDSON: That's it, man. Game over, man. It's game over…

  8. Caelavin said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    "For those without a classical education…" ← Excellent.

    I agree :) it seems to me that the increasingly intrusive gaming culture likely seeming as daunting to those without an interest as Classics might to those without the interest (the relative value of the two bodies of knowledge being the source of humor).

    Two of my favorite gamer words are 'pwn' (mistype of 'own') and 'teh' (mistype of 'the').

    The word 'pwned' is a mistype of 'owned'. Originally, pronouncing it as 'pwned' instead of 'owned' betrayed one "noob' (novice or ignorant gamer).
    However, over time it came to be pronounced as 'pwned' to communicate the gaming savvy of the speaker. The mistype is proximity-based, an implied nuance being that 'p' is hit instead of 'o' because of the excitement level of the typist, the adrenaline making them overshoot the intended letter.

    In online game chat channels, the word 'teh' is used in parody to show ignorance of the speaker, however, it is also a common mistype and one with which I am inflicted.
    My predilection to type 'teh' didn't start until I started playing online games with my son a few years ago. (I played online games years ago, but stopped when my son was old enough to open the door to my office and grab my attention). I have tried to break the 'teh' habit, but find it nearly impossible.

    My theory is that 'teh' is a sequencing error, the 'e' beating out the 'h' because of the habit the left had acquires from steering with the WSAD key cluster while 'looking' with the mouse. Disconnected from the right hand as when typing, it moves to it's next action without waiting.

    I have looked, without success, for discussions of 'teh', if anyone can point me at something I would very much appreciate it.

    [(myl) Um, there's a Wikipedia article. Also "Own, pone, poon, pun, pwone, whatever", 8/31/2007.]

  9. Brett said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    I too associate the use of "game over" entering popular culture as a general term for an impending bad end with Bill Paxton in Aliens.

  10. Victor Mair said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    From an Arabicist colleague:

    There is only standardized transliteration for scholars–most users of the language don't care. In the case of "Mubark," it is usual to contract even a short syllable after a long one (Mubaarak > Mubaark) in dialects and presumably whoever spelled his name that way heard the syllable as vowel-less. You also see the u turn to o fairly frequently (Mobarak, Mohamed, etc.). Then, the graffiti (or is it a graffito?) that is at the link you sent might well have been 'written' hurriedly and the a dropped out because of haste.

  11. Faith said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    I'm just trying to figure out why this is filed under Language and gender. Am I missing a joke?

    [(myl) No. The reason? 1) One of my colleagues has added a vast taxonomy of more than 100 possible topic headings, the great majority of which have never been used; and 2) the WordPress software for selecting such headings has a slight problem in aligning the headings with the check-boxes to select them, which seems to increase as the list length increases; and 3) "Language and culture" (which is what I meant to select) collates next to "Language and gender".

    I've fixed the heading on this article. And at some point in the not-to-distant future, I should take the time to delete most of the useless topics in our enormous list.]

  12. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    I first came across non-anglophone use of the English phrase in the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale. Like in these demonstrations, it's used by a victor to mean roughly "you lose", unlike in Aliens, where Paxton's character is using it to mean roughly "we lose".

  13. Ralph Hickok said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    @Dave M:
    I say "game over" fairly often, but I never saw Aliens and have no idea who Bill Paxton is. I picked it up, not from video games, but from playing pool in Harvard's Lowell House in the late 1950s. When a player faced an easy shoot to win the game, we said either "Game over" or "Lights out."

  14. Spell Me Jeff said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    All your base are belong to us

  15. Stuart Brown said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    I’m with Ralph above (except my pool playing was a bit later and in University of York bars), and would suggest that “game over,” now does not necessarily indicate that the game (or contest of whatever kind) is over so much as that the speaker expects it to shortly be over: it is often used as a somewhat cocky indication that the speaker is about to make a game-winning move/shot/blow.

    As such, I think the “Game Over” here is not celebratory (and thus not early), but rather is a (sadly) optimistic claim about the nature of the protests, and where they are expected to lead.

  16. peterm said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    For those of educated on classical games, then, is "Game Over" the modern-game equivalent of "Checkmate"?

  17. Brian said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Starting around 1981-1982 (only a year or so into the Golden Age of video arcades), my friends and I started using "Game Over" as a catchphrase in all kinds of non-gaming contexts. One friend in particularly was quite fond of imagining the words floating in the air (backwards of course) right after someone had just made a fatally stupid move (e.g. in the movies, or hyperbolically in real life).

  18. Hermann Burchard said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    @Erik Zyman Carrasco "For those without a classical education…" ← Excellent.
    As to origin of the phrase, an ancient precedent was "ALEA IACTA EST" — so Julius Caesar having crossed the Rubicon. Later in Monte Carlo, it was "Les Jeux Sont Faits" or "The Chips Are Down." This happens a "split second before Game Over" — semantics may not match, but "Das Spiel Ist Aus" probably was what Joseph Goebbels meant before he shot himself, but he said it in French, educated man that he was.

  19. Nijma said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    On the pinball versions, I seem to remember that "game over" did not light up until the ball had disappeared down the hole and was no longer in play. I suppose the ball triggers a switch when it drops.

    Can anyone read the Arabic? It looks like سدقط مبارك, or maybe يسقط مبارك "down with Mabarak"? Maybe I'm being too literal with "down". I've heard taht تحت for down stairs or hills.

  20. kktkkr said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

    Maybe the writer just meant that there were geese flying over Murbarak's head.

    I'll start worrying when "Bad End" messages appear.

  21. Nijma said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    alea jacta

    There are Chicago sports fans, no doubt with a classical music education, who like to say, "It's not over till the fat lady sings."

  22. Troy S. said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    I'd have to agree that Arabic is یسقط مبارک Down with Mubarak!

  23. GeorgeW said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    My wife, an Egyptian-American, says no one in Egypt says 'mubark.' She said that this is just a spelling error.

    The fact that this is written in English suggests that the expression comes from an English context (like games), or the intended audience is English speaking. I suspect the former.

  24. GeorgeW said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

    Nijma: "Can anyone read the Arabic? It looks like سدقط مبارك, or maybe يسقط مبارك "down with Mabarak"? Maybe I'm being too literal with "down". I've heard taht تحت for down stairs or hills."

    Literally (literally) it would be Mubarak falls, but 'down with Mubarak' would be the best translation.

    تحت taht would have a more concrete 'down' meaning. It wouldn't be appropriate in this context.

  25. Brett said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    @Hermann Burchard: Educated man that he was, isn't Caesar actually supposed to have said, "Let the dice fly," in Greek?

    @Ran Ari-Gur: The "We lose" meaning from Aliens is probably less common than "You lose," but I hear both relatively frequently. I imagine it's just that people are more likely to crow about their impeding victory and point out their impending defeat.

    The fact that the use of "game over" to refer to an impending victory (or defeat) dates all the way back to the 1950s or before is quite interesting. I've heard that precise usage many, many times (as opposed to "lights out," which I would understand, but which sounds extremely dated), and I always took it as at least an indirect reference to video games. But apparently, that's the wrong way around. The usage has been there all along, and the "GAME OVER" at the end of an arcade game was probably influenced by that preexisting usage.

  26. Kylopod said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

    >For those of educated on classical games, then, is "Game Over" the modern-game equivalent of "Checkmate"?

    There's one difference: "Checkmate" is something said by the winning player to the losing player. Thus, beyond the chess world it has come to carry the connotation of triumphantly declaring victory over an opponent.

    "Game over," in contrast, is a message flashed on the screen by the computer toward the human player. (It had a precedent in pinball machines, but with basically the same dynamic.) As the Wikipedia article indicates, it once could signify successful completion of the game, but over time it came to always signify failure. Thus, I suspect that when the phrase is used beyond the world of gaming, it usually, but not always, suggests a concession of defeat, rather than a declaration of victory.

  27. Jerry Friedman said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    So aren't there Arabic-language versions of video games? Or would they include some English phrases, such as Game Over?

  28. Hermann Burchard said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

    @Brett: Educated man that he was, isn't Caesar actually supposed to have said, "Let the dice fly," in Greek? — Thanks for closing a gap in my education. Wikipedia details, footnote: Lives of the Caesars, "Divus Julius" sect. 32. Suetonius gives the Latin version, iacta alea est, although according to Plutarch's Parallel Lives, Caesar quoted a line from the playwright Menander: "ἀνερρίφθω κύβος", …" Hellenic Βικιπαίδεια has variant: Όταν ο Ιούλιος Καίσαρ το 49 π.Χ. αποφάσισε να τον περάσει, πριν συγκρουστεί με τον Πομπήιο, αναφώνησε την περίφημη ιστορική φράση "Ο κύβος ερρίφθη" (alea iacta est). Both in the Aorist tense, from "ριπτεω," an intensive from of "ριπτω," to throw. Compare with Latin iactare vs. iacere [Thayer-Grimm- Wllke Greek Dicitionary]. The additional "ανα" in Plutarch could mean "upward" — so Caesar said "The dice are thrown up [in the air]." Are we to give more credence to the Greek Plutarch than to Suetonius? BTW, ALEA IACTA EST is plurale tantum and should be translated as plural THE DICE ARE CAST, unless English also allows THE DICE IS CAST.

  29. Andrew (not the same one) said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    Are we to give more credence to the Greek Plutarch than to Suetonius?

    Plutarch explicitly says (in his life of Pompey, not of Caesar) that Caesar said it in Greek; whereas I don't think Suetonius actually says 'He said it in Latin' – he just quotes it that way because he's writing in Latin. So yes, I think we should trust Plutarch.

    BTW, ALEA IACTA EST is plurale tantum and should be translated as plural THE DICE ARE CAST, unless English also allows THE DICE IS CAST.

    This seems to be disputed. If it were a plural one would expect sunt. (Neuter plurals take singular forms in Greek, but not in Latin as far as I can remember.)

  30. David said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    One of my first political memories is that of a pin which the Swedish Social Democratic Youth were wearing during the 1994 general election campaign. It had the face of the incumbent Moderate PM Carl Bildt on it and the text "Game Over". So it's nothing new in political contexts, nor is it new in being used to express the determined hope for something to happen, rather than something which is already the outcome (ie. the game isn't literally over, but one is convinced that it is or ought to be about to be).

  31. Brett said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

    @Hermann Burchard: I would tend to given almost any other historian more credence than Suetonius.

  32. Chris said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    I'm wondering if game on as a taunt is a twist on this (i.e., evolved later and because of game over)? Corpora are not very useful here because it's difficult to disambiguate this use from other uses.

  33. djbcjk said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    Housman once suggested that Suetonius's phrase was corrupted and added a single letter to make the third person imperative 'Alea iacta esto' – 'Let the dice be thrown'. However, it's seems more likely that an educated chap like Caesar would be quoting from Menander.

  34. Hermann Burchard said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    @Andrew (not the same one) & Brett: I think, Caesar spoke to his troops in Latin on such an occasion. But, I am not a historian, so I could be wrong. Or, maybe Plutarch liked Menander?

    See clarifying note at the end of the German Wikipedia article on the plural question.

  35. Matt McIrvin said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

    The video game use comes from pinball. Poking around IPDB.org, I easily found an instance of "GAME OVER" on a machine from 1962, and I would not be surprised if it goes back further than that (the IPDB photos don't always show it, because the phrase is usually a stencil behind the backglass that is only visible when lit). So the 1950s pool use could still be pinball-derived.

  36. Matt McIrvin said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

    …That should have been 1963, I mistyped. But there are earlier ones.

    The key on IPDB turns out to be to search on "Backglass – Reverse" under Images, because that shows the relevant stencil; unfortunately not all entries have such a photo. Turns out "TILT" goes back quite a ways but the earliest "GAME OVER" I've been able to find so far was on "Super Jumbo" from 1954. I would not be surprised at further antedating.

  37. Matt McIrvin said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

    …That entry refers to an earlier, possibly unproduced game from 1952 called "Twin Hockey"; I'm having trouble embedding the link, but the scanned photo of that game shows a barely visible "GAME OVER".

    It appears to me that Gottlieb may have started using the phrase "GAME OVER" when they began to make flipper machines that could have more than one player. At that point it was no longer quite sufficient to just indicate how many balls had been expended.

    [(myl) The Wikipedia entry for Game Over, quoted and linked in the body of the post, footnotes a patent for a "Miniature Bowling Alley" filed by J.C. Koci on June 3, 1950, which explains that

    ]

  38. Matt McIrvin said,

    January 31, 2011 @ 12:15 am

    And here's some sort of vertical pinball-like game called "Golden Nugget" using it in 1953. There seems to have been some sort of extra-ball mechanism there, again making it necessary to have an explicit GAME OVER indicator.

    I won't bore you with more, but I haven't been able to find any pre-1950 instances.

  39. Paul Terry Hunt said,

    January 31, 2011 @ 4:45 am

    @ Chris: To the best of my recollection, "Game on" originated with TV commentators on darts matches in the 1970's. Although (in addition to playing and watching darts) I began playing pinball and video console games in the latter half of the 70's, I never perceived any connection between the two expressions. Documentary evidence will likely trump my limited personal observations, however.

  40. Ingrid Piller said,

    January 31, 2011 @ 5:52 am

    Thanks, Mark! LL readers might also be interested in a sociolinguist's perspective on "Game over" at http://www.languageonthemove.com/language-migration-social-justice/game-over

  41. Matt McIrvin said,

    January 31, 2011 @ 7:44 am

    And there's Sherlock Holmes' "The game is afoot" (probably from a Shakespeare quote); as many others have noted, he probably means "game" in the hunting sense, but it evokes "game" as contest between rivals as well.

  42. Leonardo Boiko said,

    January 31, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    On the topic of English as spread by videogames: Brazilian parody heavy metal band Massacration makes heavy use of broken English for humor, satirizing the prestige of the language among metal fans . One of their songs, Metal Milkshake, is just a random pile of “easy” English (or foreign) expressions anyone in the audience would know (I believe). Part of the lyrics go:

    Hot-dog / milkshake / Sunday / Mayday

    People / table / walkman / umbrella

    Round one / Fight / Final lap / Start

    Game over / Playstation / Atari

  43. Jeremy said,

    January 31, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    I think one has to take into consideration not only the 2nd-language-ness of using the phrase (they may not know the difference between "we lose" and "you lose", they just know it came at the end of a game), but also that it depends who the message is speaking to. in some video games the announcer will say "Game Over" to the player. Thus, it could be seen as a generic narrator comment to Mubarak that his game is over.

    The Paxton quote, while memorable, is certainly outweighed by video gaming.

  44. Karen said,

    January 31, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    Later in Monte Carlo, it was "Les Jeux Sont Faits" or "The Chips Are Down."

    Not quite the same, is it? When the chips are down, the game isn't over, but at the stage where you can no longer back out of it. You might still win.

  45. Qov said,

    January 31, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    @Chris: Where I'm from, "Game On" marks the end of an interlude in a street hockey game. The beginning of the interlude is usually signified by the cry "Car!" This was depicted in the 1992 movie Wayne's World, but the movie didn't create it; it was popular precisely because it so accurately depicted our suburban lives.

  46. Hermann Burchard said,

    February 1, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    @Karen: Not quite the same, is it? (How do you make italics?)

    Though I have never played roulette nor in a casino at all, I believe in Mont Carlo the croupier calls out "Les Jeux Sont Faits" when all players are done putting their chips on the cloth. — So, yes, they are quite the same..

  47. John said,

    February 1, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

    What? The usage seems so unremarkable to me that I'm quite surprised it's made a blog post. Suddenly I feel like maybe I'm part of a demographic ill-represented in Language Log's readership.

  48. Jerry Friedman said,

    February 2, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    @Matt McIrvin: I brought up "Game over" at alt.usage.english partly because of this thread, the subject of the earliest use came up again, and Evan Kirshenbaum found this mention in 1948.

    @Hermann Burchard: I took Karen's comment to mean that Les jeux sont faits and The chips are down aren't the same as "Game over".

    You can make italics with the HTML tags <i> and </i>.

    @John: It seemed remarkable to me in Egypt and Tunisia. But then I've read that some people in Egypt are calling the present uprising a Tunisami.

  49. Hermann Burchard said,

    February 2, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

    @Jerry Friedman: Karen's comment

    Of course, Jerry, I knew that! I tried but failed to put a little irony in my answer. Try again: "— Yeah, right! No, they are quite the same."

    And, Jerry, what does an English speaking croupier say before spinning the roulette when the chips are down? Perhaps: "The Chips are down." — In Monte Carlo I think it is: "Les Jeux Sont Faits, rien ne vas plus."

  50. Hermann Burchard said,

    February 2, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    Correct version:

    "Faites vos jeux – les jeux sont faits – Rien ne va plus = les 3 phrases rituelles dites par les croupiers dans les casinos
    Faites vos jeux = les joueurs posent des jetons sur les numéros
    les jeux sont faits : ils n'ont plus le droit de poser de jetons
    - Rien ne va plus = le croupier lance la boule"

    From http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=233174,

  51. Mark Mandel said,

    February 3, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    I linked to this post from my personal blog, and Harold Feld made this comment, quoted here by permission:

    It's interesting to me that "Game over, Mubarak" seems to have become the dominant slogan of the protests — although maybe it is only the dominant slogan in English.

    I find it interesting to look at revolutionary slogans or symbols. The two that stick in my mind are China 1989, where people broke small bottles (a play on Deng's first name, Xiaoping, which means "small bottle") and Iran 1979 ("Every day is Ahsura, Everywhere is Karballah," a reference to the martyrdom of Hussein opposing Yazid regarded among the Shia as a usurper to the Caliphate.)

  52. Taybeh Chaser said,

    February 4, 2011 @ 5:09 am

    I'm a new commentor, and though not a native speaker of Arabic, I do use it at work daily. I agree the best translation of the sense of the Arabic phrase is "down with Mubarak". I've also never heard any Egyptian pronounce it "Mubark", but that doesn't mean there isn't a dialect of Egyptian Arabic where the short vowel disappears. (There are times when short vowels seem to drop out for speakers of different varieties of Palestinian Arabic, but that may just be a trick of my ears.)

  53. Taybeh Chaser said,

    February 4, 2011 @ 5:44 am

    "Commenter". Sorry.

  54. Paul Kay said,

    February 5, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    @Caelavin, You are no doubt right about your own history, but I've been typing teh incorrigibly since about 1953. And I've hardly ever, maybe never, played a video game. (I had to look up just now what the WASD key cluster was.) I'd lay long odds that teh predates video games.

  55. stephen said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 3:34 am

    Response to Mr. Friedman:

    My experience in countless internet cafes in the Middle East is that (a) there are precious few, if any, Arabic-language video games and (b) English-language games are widely played. On my very first visit to an internet cafe in Alexandria, Egypt, I ended up sitting next to what had to have been a 10-year-old boy playing some version of Grand Theft Auto. He was scoring points by gratuitously beating some passerby with a baseball bat. "Game Over" for her, no doubt.

  56. Nijma said,

    February 12, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

    More "game over" meme.

  57. langsoc.eusa.ed.ac.uk» Blog Archive » The End Loser said,

    February 21, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    [...] Liberman of Language Log posted the other day about 'Game Over' being used in the Cairo protests. He states: For those without a classical education, [...]

  58. Hermann Burchard said,

    October 24, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    Probably I WAS quite misguided because apparently Julius Caesar admired Menander and seems to have spoken to the narrow circle of his officers in Greek rather than address the assembled troops in Latin. Actually "the die is cast" may not be the thing to say to the soldiery on the eve of battle. . . My own education may not be as solid as I had thought back in January. Still learning!

  59. FarmerBuck said,

    March 21, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

    I too associate the use of "game over" entering popular culture as a general term for an impending bad end with Bill Paxton in Aliens.

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