There is more to ‘playing games’ – every kind of game – than catches the eye. It is more than just a pastime or just for fun. It is deeper than any desire to win. It goes far beyond being unscrupulous. And whoever thinks it is just about scoring, piling up trophies or carving another notch on the belt, is missing the most crucial aspect of life – of living on this planet.
“And . . . probably relegated to a pawn, to a checker, a card, a chip to be tossed.” The Sage (SBL series)
Yes. We all play games: men, women, animal and children.
But what game and why?
We set about exploring these questions on The Journey (Listen to the Podcast Below)
The Journey hosted by Neville DeAngelou Free download Podcast / iTunes.
Show Title: Games Men Play In Coffee Shops
Guests sharing their stories on this episode: UT artist and gamester David Tarlo, actor and gamester Don Fletcher, game developer Ruth Hearn, and Professional Tennis Player Kirstie Hearn.
On The Journey: we meet fascinating people, we track the heroes of A Sound Byte Life, The HUNK I Dreamed, Flight Of The Fused Monkeys, ILICET – A Time To Begin Again, and seek out novel solutions to a few tricky problems.
When it was announced on air that our intention was to explore games men play, immediately – if conveniently – the question was posed: mind games?
Well, why not begin there? It’s as good a place as any.
So here are those: the five successful mind games men play to score without having to commit. (Reference: Date Him Or Dump Him.)
Mind Game #1
My ex broke my heart; I’m so torn up inside I need time to heal and I don’t want to lose you.
Mind Game #2
My parents are divorced; commitment is scaring me right now; I don’t want to end up divorced, do you?
Mind Game #3
I just want to live together first – see if we’re really as sympatico as we seem to be.
Mind Game #4
I’m still good friends with my ex.
Mind Game #5
You’re just so lucky to have me.
Studied closely, you might recognize that these strategies are not restricted to the bed, the kitchen table or the back seat of a car, they’re employed everywhere in every realm quite successfully. They are pervasive. We looked at them closely.
Why do we play these games? To score, of course. But why do these amorous objects of our passion fall easy prey to these ploys? What nets them? What keeps all parties playing?
“Games are the way we keep romance alive,” says Helen Fisher, PhD, author of The First Sex. Romance is a contact sport. Besides, not all mind games are bad.
Remember: both sides want to score.
In many cases one player wants to be wooed and appreciated while the other player wants to be challenged and intrigued. Sometimes it’s just a case of the-fox-and-the-hen. Note: the hen is not always as obvious as you think, looking from your window. However, these games stretch wider and deeper – beyond romance, beyond the steady trick for a sweet thrill.
“The stories of our lives (individually) and the histories of our societies are scrambled with the jigsaw pieces of the games we play. Four games to be precise! Sum up the variety of games being played now and ever, ever since known time throughout history – mind games, physical games, digital games, political games, religious games, ideological games, war games, romantic games; every kind of game – add them all up or parse them any which way one is inclined, these all boil down to FOUR GAMES.” The Sage said. “Each human is playing one or more of these four games and/or is being played one or more of these four games.”
Most any one of us can name in our sleep past, current and rising winners of these games – the human game. Steve Jobs. Martin Luther King. Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Beyonce, Brad Pitt, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, that relative! And there are people we know who would buy – if they could – the playbook scrawled with the Xs and Os of how to raise their children to rise to equal victories.
Our questions became obvious:
Which game are they playing?
Do we know how to play the game?
Or are we just being played?
Are we the checker-pieces?
The pawns? The chip tossed?
We could name losers too! At the drop of a hat!
At a first blush, during our exploration, we encountered the following juxtapositions in response to the question: why we play games? And this proves to be true whether you are man, woman, boy, girl, child or tired old geezer.
not to lose
just want to have fun
to get the juices flowing
Experts of game-playing identify the following as reasons why we play games – all of which are quite valid:
sensation — game as sense-pleasure
fantasy — game as make-believe
narrative — game as unfolding story
challenge — game as obstacle course
fellowship — game as social framework
discovery — game as uncharted territory
expression — game as a soap box
submission — game as mindless pastime
Two people might be playing the same game, but not necessarily similarly motivated and not necessarily after the same thing, even if it appears that they equally want to win and for which victory their appears to be only one prize.
The fact is, that prize – no matter how practical or useful it is, no matter how much it might be needed – say it is a car or millions of dollars – it is merely symbolic.
“There are only four games. And there are four motivations for playing these games.” The Sage proves. Here are the four reasons men play games and the four games men play. (Men, women, girls, boys! While tired old geezers, having climbed the heights, laugh.) The INNER Game! These guide our decisions. They guard our social networks. They define our choices.
Motivation #1: Power
The Game: My Daddy Is Bigger Than Your Daddy
GOAL: to gain power, to have stature, to be bigger than the other, to be stronger, to be larger than life, to be the force to be reckoned with, to be the influence. (Deification)
Motivation #2: Control
The Game: Who’s Your Daddy Now?
GOAL: to be in command; to assure a predictable outcome – predictability of circumstance, predictability of surroundings – control and command; to hold the lever; to own the keys, to own you. (Domination)
Motivation #3: Discovery
The Game: Yo! I’m the daddy.
GOAL: To explore, to inquire, to be enlightened, to expand, to learn, to understand, to be brighter, smarter and wiser. (Enlightenment)
Motivation #4: Destruction / Annihilation
The Game: Where’s That Daddy?
GOAL: To destroy, to break the rules, to have total autonomy, to tear down, to see what’s next. (Demolition)
“Don’t know which game you’re in? Don’t know how to play the game? You’re being played: a card tossed to the wind.” The Sage (SBL series).
Though we’ve barely begun this deep dive into games men play – as is revealed in the SBL series – the clear aim of any player with barely a modicum of smarts is to achieve the goal. Oh, so fun! However, one would be comprehensively trounced, as Tarlo experienced, frustrated and flummoxed, if one were to enter these fields not knowing the game he or she is playing or how to play the game. But we’re already in the game. Ouch! Follow The Journey. You’ll find the prize. And remember, if you slip into the hole three hands will appear – choose wisely!
Games Men Play Show Guests:
David Tarlo (Artist)
Don Fletcher (Actor)
Ruth Hearn (Game Developer)
Kirstie Hearn (Professional Tennis Player)
Agony & Dubi
Courtesy of Costa-Soria