Does anyone remember which episode of STNG had someone at a starbase, as I recall, passing out a silly game in a head-mounted thing like a pair of glasses to the crew of the Enterprise, with said game causing an addictive/hypnosis-like effect, making everybody who wore/played this game do nothing else? Wesley and a female crewperson (his girlfriend?) were the only ones who saw the danger and managed to avoid getting hypnotised up until the very end, when they were caught and forced to wear the things. I forgot how the episode ended, but wanted to go back and rewatch it, as I've come to the conclusion that this episode has a LOT to say to us today about watching out for addictive things like... dare I say... Facebook and its ilk?

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    There was no starbase in the episode ("The Game"). Riker was the first to get addicted. He was holidaying and met a woman. She introduced him to it and he took it back to the Enteprise.
    – Praxis
    Apr 2, 2016 at 18:06
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    Also, Wesley's female friend (Ensign Robin Lefler) was played by Ashley Judd.
    – Praxis
    Apr 2, 2016 at 18:14
  • @Praxis — who got her first onscreen kiss out of the episode.
    – Quentin
    Apr 2, 2016 at 18:36
  • The game in the story is a device that changes the brain chemistry of the player to make them susceptible to suggestion and control. It was used by the Ktarians in their attempt to gain control of Starfleet and the Federation.
    – Phil
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:51
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    I can't believe your internet research turned up nothing when you performed it before asking, Dave. The episode is literally called "The Game", so it's not exactly hard to find. And even if it were, a simple read-through of the TNG episode summaries would have revealed the answer?! -1, sorry. Apr 2, 2016 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


The episode is The Game. From Memory Alpha:

Wesley Crusher visits the Enterprise only to see everyone behaving strangely on account of an addictive, mind-controlling game.

And what is this super additive game? It involves getting red disks into purple funnels:

Fun game

I can't understand why this dull game with 1990s graphics is so addictive.1.

1 In the episode they say it is a psychotropic addiction.

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    So it is completely explained then?
    – Valorum
    Apr 2, 2016 at 18:06
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    And although I'm too lazy to look for it, I believe on some VR headset(s) (or maybe it was even on Google Glass), someone did make a very similar game (possibly as some form of homage) Apr 2, 2016 at 18:17
  • @Richard: I need to rethink my attempt at humour. Apr 2, 2016 at 18:17
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    Episode dialog clearly describes the device as tapping directly into the pleasure centers of the brain and delivering a reward when the player gets a disk to enter a funnel. It's a sci-fi take on the results of real animal experiments. However that was only the first part of the story; the second was the use of the device to take control of the crew for a bigger purpose never fully revealed. It only went as far as furthering distribution of the devices to other ships/crews/federation bases.
    – Anthony X
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:50
  • Yup. Ashley Judd (vavavoom!) and Wesley Crusher specifically explore how the device works in an early scene.
    – L0j1k
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:54

It's called, appropriately, "The Game." I believe it's from the fifth season.

  • Thank you!! I'm getting set to rewatch it on Shush.se....
    – lvdave
    Apr 2, 2016 at 17:42
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    Might want to flesh out this answer a bit, e.g. from Wikipedia or Memory Alpha. @lvdave - don't forget to come back and mark one of the answers as "accepted" (with the checkmark on the left) in 15 minutes or so when you can :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 2, 2016 at 17:44

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