What does, “Play stupid games, Win stupid prizes” mean?
Play Stupid Games Win Stupid Prizes. This phrase is often used when you intentionally do something illegal, or stupid, you have to suffer the consequences. Play stupid games win stupid prizes.
There are many ways you can apply this. Even you may have experienced a situation when you tried to do something the wrong way and it actually backfired. While sometimes, it makes sense to cut corners and get on with a seemingly difficult task illegally.
However, you can run into a whole range of new problems. Because once you enter this stupid game, everyone falters. And they justify the action by saying:
“When everyone else is doing, why involved I?” You better not play stupid games.
What does, “Play stupid games, Win stupid prizes” mean?
“Play stupid games, win stupid prizes” basically means that if you are going to intentionally and deliberately do something stupid, illegal, or out of regulation, you should be prepared to accept the result. To help clarify, a story about my former soldier was included.
A junior soldier of mine wanted to buy a vehicle. It was his first one ever, and he was very eager to get it during the weekend.
I and my Fire Support Officer briefed him that he should buy from a reputable dealership and that a license, registration, and insurance were necessary to operate a vehicle… lawfully anyway.
We both told him that we would like to accompany him to the dealership so that we could help him make a sensible purchase. The young man nodded and said that he would follow up with all that was brief for him. Next weekend I get a call from my first sergeant that I need to meet him at his office about my soldier. I follow.
When I went there, I found out that he had taken a position to take a U-turn illegally away from a military operation post. When he was pulled over, he had no license, registration or insurance. Le ah. We told him what he needed right?
My first sergeant got him out of some serious trouble, but I had to consult the soldier on paper about having the proper documentation to drive the vehicle, as well as corrective training for two weeks. Slap on the wrist, we let you know how potentially bad this could be. Did Kid get the message right? More to follow.
So a couple of weeks go by, no issues from any of my soldiers. The young man was told he is not to operate his vehicle until he has a proof of license, insurance, and registration. I’m all he had to do, just show us that he was in the process of securing said documents.
I get a call from the First Sergeant at night to inform me that I need to see my soldier tomorrow. Again. He caught the soldier driving and waved him down. He asked the young man to see all his documents himself. Lo and behold, the soldier had made no effort to do so. Still driving illegally. The first Sergeant lets him go and told him he was at the mercy of the MPs that evening.
The next morning, I take the soldier into the office and read him his counseling for a field grade Article 15. suspected that, you may wonder? It is the punishment handed down from a field grade officer that reduces a soldier in rank, the pay is halved for two months, and 45 days extra duty.
I told him he basically wanted to feel what it was like to get a ticket. So now he knew. He got into trouble for some other things that I later found out that I would not mention.
However, this young man was told how to do something, what he had to do and who to talk to about the situation above.
He once got into trouble and was warned and instructed not to make the same mistake again. A young man decides to be rude, again getting into trouble by the same person who saved his skin for the first time.
As he did not heed the guidelines and warnings, he would suffer the consequences for a long time.
Origin of “play stupid games, win stupid prizes”?
The phrase “play stupid games and win stupid prizes” has been around even before the internet. And no one is quite sure how it started.
The earliest written examples to be found are from some of Tom Clancy’s novels from the 1980s and 1990s. But the question of where he got the phrase from remains a mystery. Unless, of course, he was the one who thought them up.
Lessons You Can Learn from “Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes”
- If you spend time doing illegal activities, you’ll have to suffer, one way or the other.
- If you do your professional job in a leisurely manner – as a pastime or a hobby – you’re not going to benefit fully.
- A traditional corporate job, as opposed to an internet-based business, might be thought of as a stupid game. Play it for 40 years and in the end, you get a stupid state pension, which’s not even worth it.
For some, the last one may not be a stupid game, and its accompanied a stupid prize, but you get the idea.
Does the phrase “If you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes” ring true for you in your life?
I love that phrase, actually! A cut above “Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer” on the true-use-cliche scale.
Yeah, I don’t mind stupid prizes. I’m always pretty clear, though: it’s a game when and if both know they’re playing, and same rules apply to each side. I am not the sort of person to say “I don’t play games.” I play many and sometimes well, but I don’t play games where it’s not a game.
Or where only one person thinks it’s a game. Long as both are playing, though? Hey! Fun city, next ten exits. Some games you just make up with someone, adding rules as you go, playing along impromptu. Some of those games, it’s pretty clear from the jab and rib and rolling of eyes from both sides, are stupid.
And sometimes it’s not even clear why you started, or why you continue. Except the other one’s caught the spirit (somehow) and is in it to win it, and they must know something you don’t, so you go on. Or you feel you’ve just attained the edge, so you go on. Or maybe both of you are proceeding ’cause you want to see what the stupid prize is.
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There usually is one. It’s usually stupid!
So yup, it rings true in my life, but I think its primary use seems to be for “games players” that are actually less playing “a game” than acting like “an ass.” Rings true there, too – they often get a stupid prize.
What kind of word is “stupid”?
Usually when we say “stupid”, we use it as an adjective. An adjective is a word that is used to describe another word. Let’s use one of the president’s quotes, for example, “What a stupid question.”
Here, the president is using the adjective stupid to describe an abstract noun (a question). However, while “stupid” is usually an adjective, it can be used as a noun when used as a noun. For example, if you put a pizza in your oven and then turn it on, your roommate might say “you need to preheat the oven, stupid.”
Stupid would be used as a noun, since your roommate says you are stupid. It’s not that stupidity is a characteristic you possess, but rather what you are.
Roughly “He deserved what he got”.
It’s usually used when someone suffers due to a situation entirely of their own making. Especially when the “victim” complains about the fallout…that they brought upon themselves.
So let’s say Joe Blow decides to have fun by breaking into the carnival and riding the rides alone. Something goes wrong and Joe gets his leg ripped off and tries to sue the carnival.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. If Joe hadn’t been trespassing and operating the equipment in an unsafe manner, contrary to the proper procedure, he’d have been fine. It’s 100% his fault.