TIME Makes Everybody Lose “The Game”


Earlier today, TIME declared 4chan founder moot the most influential person of 2009. That wasn’t all they declared, though: The Top 100 list contains a secret message, and if you found it, well, you just lost The Game.

Of the 100 most influential people (as voted on by the Internet), here are the top 21:

01.) moot
02.) Anwar Ibrahim
03.) Rick Warren
04.) Baitullah Mehsud
05.) Larry Brilliant
06.) Eric Holder
07.) Carlos Slim
08.) Angela Merkel
09.) Kobe Bryant
10.) Evo Morales
11.) Alexander Lebedev
12.) Lil’ Wayne
13.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
14.) Odell Barnes
15.) Tina Fey
16.) Hu Jintao
17.) Eric Cantor
18.) Gamel Mubarak
19.) Ali al-Naimi
20.) Muqtada al-Sadr
21.) Elizabeth Warren

Now, the founder of 4chan taking the first spot is kind of suspect, but so is the rest of the list: Really, Kobe Bryant and Lil’ Wayne more influential than megapopular President Barack Obama or former Vice President nominee Sarah Palin? There are some people who shouldn’t be in the top 20 who are, and some who should be but aren’t. But you know what? That’s okay, and as TIME Managing Editor Josh Tyrangiel points out, since it’s an Internet poll, “Doubting the results is kind of the point.”

But let’s look at this one more time. Read the first letters of all the names on the list downward. It spells something:


If it were just “Marble Cake,” then y’know what? I’d be inclined to chalk it up to a coincidence. But “The Game” – a notorious Internet meme with a time-honored pastime of reminding people about it when they least expect it? That’s a bit harder to swallow.

Considering 4chan’s obvious involvement in the whole thing, it feels a bit fishy. Also, it feels kind of hilarious: Has TIME – and consequently its international reader base – been pranked?

(For the record, I’ve been enjoying playing The Contest lately. If you think about The Contest, you win!)

(Thanks, DJPirtu!)

Update: They sure have. (Thanks, Miral and Mythnomer!)


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