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  1. #1
    Mhd shaher's Avatar
    Mhd shaher is offline Member
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    Default Game over/ Game is over

    Hi.
    why do we say (Game over) and don't say (Game is over)?

  2. #2
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Game over/ Game is over

    (Not a teacher)

    Consider "Game over" to be a mass noun, and use it as such. I would say the etymology of the word as a whole came from arcade games; I doubt it was used before then as a single noun.

    You can say "the game is over", but "game over" itself means that something has ended unsucessfully, and can be used outwith gaming meaning that the game is finished. For example, "If I don't pass this exam it's game over for me".

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    Default Re: Game over/ Game is over

    I am not an English teacher, but I do know the answer to this question.

    "Game Over" is a very modern expression, first used in early pinball machines around the 1950's to let players know that their game was over. The reason the reason the pinball machines didn't say "Your game is over" or "The game is over" or any such thing was simply a question of space: Pinball cabinets didn't have a lot of space to place letters on in the 50's, especially not letters that needed to be backlit with light bulbs in order to just be visible every now and then. More letters = more electrical power needed to light up and also less space for other graphics.

    As the pinball machine evolved, the shortened phrase stuck, and by the time arcade video games came along, it was such a common parlance for arcades that the video games begun using it too, even though they had none of the original technical limitations that led to the phrase being shortened in the first place.

    Later yet, when home console video games came around, many of the games were directly ported (copied) from arcade games, so the phrase was included, and even when the home console video game was original, the game designers themselves were so firmly rooted in the arcade tradition that games just didn't seem like games without it. It the became a tradition of all kinds of video games.

    Even later yet, when the generations who grew up at the time when home video games had become a common thing became adults, the phrase had simply become a pop cultural ubiquity, and people started using it in all other kinds of context as well.

    In summary, the reason why people say "game over" instead "the game is over" is because of space limitations on old pinball cabinets. Besides, "game over" just has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

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