“A game is an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions… with a concealed motivation… or gimmick.”
To re-state Berne’s definition, one can think of a game as a series of interactions (words, body language, facial expressions, etc.) between two or more people that follow a predictable pattern. The interactions ultimately progress to an outcome in which one individual obtains a “payoff” or “goal.” In most cases, the participants of the games are unaware that they are “playing.”
Looking through my Facebook page I spotted a video clip that illustrates one of the typical sexual games called ‘Let’s You and Him Fight’. A large number of my female friends liked that video clip. However none of my male friends did. Here is this videoclip:
A brief description of the Sexual Game Let’s You and Him Fight from ‘Games People Play’ by Dr. Eric Berne is provided below.
“This may be a maneuver, a ritual or a game. In each case the psychology is essentially feminine.
1. As a maneuver it is romantic. The woman maneuver or challenges two men into fighting, with the implication or promise that she will surrender herself to the winner. After the competition is decided, she fulfils her bargain. This is an honest transaction, and the presumption is that her and her mate live happily ever after.
2. As a ritual, it tends to be tragic. Custom demands that the two men fight for her, even if she does not want them to, and even if she has already made her choice. If the wrong man wins, she must nevertheless take him. In this case it is society and not the woman who sets up this game.
3. As a game it is comic. The woman sets up the competition, and while the two men are fighting, she decamps with a third. The internal and external psychological advantages for her and her mate are derived from the position that honest competition is for suckers, and the comic story they have lived through forms the basis for the internal and external social advantages.”
From evolutionary perspective, in animal world this game provides the basis for natural selection to ensure that only fittest individuals can pass their genes to future generations while ‘unfit’ genes die out with their less fit carriers. However in human society in present time this game hardly helps in passing the ‘fittest’ genes. The ‘fittest’, more mature men usually easily spot this game and withdraw from it as it does not provide any benefit to them. If a male is looking for a one-night stand, this game requires too much effort. It is much easier to find someone else – in most places there is no shortage of opportunities of that kind. If a male is looking for a long-term partner, a lady playing this game would hardly be suitable for that due to a lack of understanding, commitment, compassion, love and care.
In modern times therefore this game works no better than a deer’s instinct to freeze in the face of oncoming headlights. Why do some females continue playing this game then? And even if they are not playing it, why do they still enjoy so much watching it on the screen or reading about it in the books?