I’ve recently heard David Bowie’s song where he sings

To be insulted by these fascists
Is so degrading and it’s no game.

Is it’s no game some kind of a metaphor or a widely used idiom, or maybe some kind of this particular song specific expression? Or should it be simply taken literally?

  • I think (in this case) it stands for "it's not cool" but it's an expression that could mean anything. For example Public Enemy's song He got game uses (sort of) the same expression and it stands for "he's got a skill" (not in a particular field) Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 8:25
  • It could simply mean "it's no fun" as well as the literal meaning of not being a game. This is why "Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature" (which includes song lyrics at the lower end of the spectrum) is off-topic.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 12:08

2 Answers 2


I would recommend having a look here: I'm Game
And Since its an Idiom there is really no correct way of using it. A few examples:

Its not cool:

People making fun of the handicap! its no game.

Its not worth/fun/cool:

Friend1:Wanna go TP'ing a house?
Friend2:No man, its no game.


Friend1: You going to the shooting range this weekend?
Friend2: Nah man, my inlaws coming in this weekend so its no game for me.

I think the 2nd example is of relevance to you.


In the 1980s people in action movies would say "this is no game" to mean "this is serious." It has nothing to do with the playa/hustla sense of game.

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