February 22, 2009

I don't particularly understand these men who say they don't like women who "play games."

What's wrong with games? Maybe you need better games. Like you know you go over to one friend's house and they have Scrabble and Risk, and then you to to another friend's house and the best game is something like — what's the crappiest kid game? — Ants in the Pants.

IN THE COMMENT: Chip Ahoy said:
This question, amusing as it is, suffers the equivocation fallacy whereby the use of a term with more than one meaning is switched.

The men who complain about women who play games, ridiculous on the surface because men play games too, are referring to emotional games of the sort one of my sister excels. Having such a sister has taught me what to look for here, she glees at her ability to provoke observable emotion in her subject. Jealousy? That'll do. Anger? That works. Rage? Best of all possible observable emotions.

Our hostess knows this, and we know she knows this, but she playfully switches the term from emotion games to formal games within the proposition. So the answer is, "Yes, of course, better games would be an improvement." Games like Lawn Darts at Forty Paces, or Horseshoes Without the Poles, Naked Barbed Wire Twister, Paintball Without Armor, Cowboys and Indians with Real Weapons, Pack One Another's Parachute, Ski the Grand Canyon, Boxing With Gauntlets, Riding Lawn Mower Rodeo, Human Piñata, Hunting on the Island of Doctor Moreau, Beanbags Filled with Nails, Barefoot Jellyfish Collecting, William Tell, Ninjas VS. Ballerinas, Survive the Viper Pit, Chainsaw Badminton, Grenade Tennis, Komodo Dragon Roundup, Geisha High Wire Race, Find the Short in the Flooded Basement, Hide and Go Seek in the Shark Tank, White Water Rafting Tag.

49 comments:

rhhardin said...

The countermoves are either in Stephen Potter's Lifemanship or Eric Berne's Games People Play.

As long as it winds up sooner or later in children, evolution doesn't care.

A handbook of countercounterplay might help in postponing the divorce, however.

Shanna said...

Tests are worse than Games.

Ann Althouse said...

RH, that damned self-help book came out in 1964. Get over it! Get in the game. Raise your game! Get better games. For example, I know a great game. I'm not going to write about it, but I'm positive you wouldn't grouse about it.

Curtiss said...

There are women who don't play games? And all this time I thought they all did.

What do I know.

Ron said...

I own 300 games! Oh, to find a girl to play Streets of Stalingrad with!

Maybe all tenure selection should be winners at Diplomacy.

kight said...

Re: Berne, The Games People Play. The surest way to end most transactions is to respond like an adult. It all matters on what YOUR end game is, however.

EDH said...

Wait a minute. I thought it was men who were accused of so-called “macho head games”?

Means of intimidation employed by someone in a position of physical or financial power or an accusation of such made by a weaker or paranoid party. As in: "I'm tired of all your macho head games."

STEINBRENNER: What're you talking about, Wilhelm. You popping pills? You got the crazies again?

WILHELM: No, no. No, no, sir. I ordered George to drive around insulting people today. Because I'm tired of all your macho head games.

GEORGE: (agitated) He's lying, sir! I'm tired of all your macho head games!

STEINBRENNER: Macho head games?

Big Mike said...

Professor, The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior was published in 1944, and Nash's doctorate establishing the "Nash equilibrium" was published in 1950. The mere fact that Games People Play is 44 years old doesn't by itself invalidate it. You should know that.

traditionalguy said...

All my friends play their favorite games over and over. I suspect that is why a new friend is so much fun, like playing a new racquetball player and learning to return new killer shots. It takes time to learn most people's best moves. Usually the score is kept by counting the money made, the social power pyramid climbed, and the sexual surrenders recieved. But all self destructive behaviors are out of bounds leading to persons being kicked out of the games.

Gahrie said...

I like a game of naked twister every now and then.......

rhhardin said...

The game idea means that the rules are not open to discussion.

Kirk Parker said...

"For example, I know a great game. I'm not going to write about it, but I'm positive you wouldn't grouse about it."

Uhhh, wouldn't it depend ever so slightly on the woman you were playing it with? (If the answer is really and truly No, then quick--publish it and get rich!)

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I suspect several things. One is that women who play games do so out of boredom. Another is that a woman who absolutely played no games whatsoever would come across to both males and females as very unfeminine. Another is that people don't really know what they want.

traditionalguy said...

For a game with new acquaintances, the best game may be Golf. You get to enjoy role playing and competitiveness and compassion, all in four beautiful hours outdoors. The Women can out drive the men from the Red Tees, but they can't putt straight into the hole, but like to circle the hole first, which evens up the scores. You can meet new people best playing golf.Every other way seems too predetermined and slows down getting to know the real personality. Alcohol and the wearing of wildly colored and sexy clothing is part of the game too.

AllenS said...

"Raise your game! Get better games."

When you're a kid, you can play spin the bottle.

Once you've reached adulthood, there's strip poker.

traditionalguy said...

Laura is right ...women who do not play at some give and take flattery and playful games seem boring as wood. My 18 month old granddaughter is already totally feminine and she plays new games each time we see her. She is Extremely Prescious and never has bored us for a moment.

Chip Ahoy said...

This question, amusing as it is, suffers the equivocation fallacy whereby the use of a term with more than one meaning is switched.

The men who complain about women who play games, ridiculous on the surface because men play games too, are referring to emotional games of the sort one of my sister excels. Having such a sister has taught me what to look for here, she glees at her ability to provoke observable emotion in her subject. Jealousy? That'll do. Anger? That works. Rage? Best of all possible observable emotions.

Our hostess knows this, and we know she knows this, but she playfully switches the term from emotion games to formal games within the proposition. So the answer is, "Yes, of course, better games would be an improvement." Games like Lawn Darts at Forty Paces, or Horseshoes Without the Poles, Naked Barbed Wire Twister, Paintball Without Armor, Cowboys and Indians with Real Weapons, Pack One Another's Parachute, Ski the Grand Canyon, Boxing With Gauntlets, Riding Lawn Mower Rodeo, Human Piñata, Hunting on the Island of Doctor Moreau, Beanbags Filled with Nails, Barefoot Jellyfish Collecting, William Tell, Ninjas VS. Ballerinas, Survive the Viper Pit, Chainsaw Badminton, Grenade Tennis, Komodo Dragon Roundup, Geisha High Wire Race, Find the Short in the Flooded Basement, Hide and Go Seek in the Shark Tank, White Water Rafting Tag.

rhhardin said...

There are 482928212647720720 integer sequences of length 17 having sum equal to zero and sum of absolute values equal to 50.

A result of my morning's game.

How many other games result in a truth that will outlive the universe?

ricpic said...

Cooking His Goose

There's playing games and then there's scheming,
She's hatching his fate while the dunce stands there dreaming!

traditionalguy said...

Chip Ahoy... "White water rafting tag" sounds like fun on a hot day. And "geisha high wire race" would be funny to watch. Where do they have them, and can you bet on your favorites?

mcg said...

Ants in the Pants? ANTS IN THE PANTS?

William said...

Ninjas vs ballerinas is the subtext of most flirtations.

William said...

I had a friend I used to play tennis with regularly. We were evenly matched. From week to week it was impossible to tell who was going to win. Prior to the game he would always complain about some ailment. Thus if I won, my victory was tainted--the moral equivalent of Tyson going to the orthopedic ward and beating up some poor cripple. If he won, his victory was an enduring triumph of the human spirit-- able to conquer adversity and the machinations of thuggish bullies such as myself....It's not the games you play, it's how you play the game.

Chip Ahoy said...

Marquis de Sade Dress Up, Attila the Hun Piggy-Back Rides, Rasputin Drinking Game, Caligula's Fun Play House, Red Kujo, Jacks with Sparklers, Jumping Live Power Line, Okefenokee Slip 'n Slide.

blake said...

Everyone plays games. The problem is the games you don't want to play, or worse, don't know you're playing.

Ron said...

For those who remember wargames I have a post up...

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"The problem is the games you don't want to play, or worse, don't know you're playing."

Well, that's it.

It's like men who complain about women being needy and demanding; when they rid themselves of one needy, demanding woman they issue stunning indictments of American Womanhood, and then go out and find another needy, demanding woman.

Or women who go for one control-freak man after another, b/c if he doesn't go into jealous rages, he doesn't love her.

I'd edit that last para for grammar but it's hard to type. I found out today that I have nettles in my yard.

traditionalguy said...

The Games brought to everyone else's minds seem to be variations of La Liasons Dangereuse. That game takes several months and much time and money when played right. In fact you may get thrown out for playing that game right. Let's stick to Trivia Pursuit so the Althouse Commenters can keep up.

EDH said...

What springs to my mind as a counterpoint is that indelible Playboy/Penthouse image of a voluptuous woman wearing only a loosened men's tie leaning over a rustic chess board, next to a brandy snifter highlighted by an open fire.

Admittedly, I'm much more into the metaphorical image than the game of chess itself.

Here's one of the better sites I found on the topic Chess - Romance, Love and Sex .

And a link to the "Chess Scene" from the Thomas Crown Affair.

Ann Althouse said...

rhhardin said..."There are 482928212647720720 integer sequences of length 17 having sum equal to zero and sum of absolute values equal to 50. A result of my morning's game. How many other games result in a truth that will outlive the universe?"

It's all well and good to find math beautiful, rh, but I think you should find a nice math nerd girl to invent some new games with.

traditionalguy said...

There really is a game you can play called Strip backgammon. Every time you take a game piece, you get to take a clothing piece too. A quickie game is not as much fun as a slow game,but both come to a climax in the end.

rhhardin said...

math nerd girl

Math nerd girls wind up the women's work issues committee.

You can extrapolate to what happens in your house.

former law student said...

Guys who say that would get easily bored with women who acted perfectly straightforwardly. Besides, not even a vending machine spits out product every time you put money in.

Re Games: As a kid, my nephew encouraged me to play computer games, believing I would enjoy them as much as he did. So I opened not only Solitaire, but Minesweeper as well -- they're computer games, right?

But they were not the roleplaying games he meant.

Tibore said...

"Geisha High Wire Race"?? What deep, dark, twisted part of your mind did you dredge that from??

I love it!

Joan said...

Guys who say that would get easily bored with women who acted perfectly straightforwardly.

Funny, after 15 years, my husband has never once complained of boredom. If he doesn't know what I'm thinking and wants to know, he asks me. Same goes for me, with him. We have a very low-drama life together, which is good because we've had more than enough externally imposed drama to deal with.

former law student said...

my husband has never once complained of boredom

Sorry, I was thinking of courtship. Married life should be straightforward, not a replay of I Love Lucy plots.

Freeman Hunt said...

A man's game I must have liked seven and a half years ago:

Man: "Do you want to go out tomorrow night?"
Woman: "What? You know I can't go out with you. I have a boyfriend."
Man: "Oh, did I say go out? I meant hang out."
Woman: "I don't believe you."
Man: "No really. If you prefer hang out, we can hang out."
Woman: "I'm serious. I have a boyfriend. I can't go out with you."
Man: "Really, I totally understand. Let's hang out tomorrow night."
Woman: "Hmmm."

So they "hung out." And you know, it turned out that he really did mean "go out." The nerve!

blake said...

Smoove, FH.

William said...

To Chip Ahoy's fine list of games that end badly, I humbly submit: final slope Himalayan hopskotch, manic depressive tandem skydiving, and mixed species chimpanzee/leper tag team wrestling.

Ron said...

Chip forgot Claymore Mine Mumbly Peg, and Upchuck Shot Put!

yasumi said...

My husband says he doesn't want me to play games, but then he keeps challenging me to Scrabble. Then there's the inevitable sulking when I win. And then we don't play for awhile, though I think he secretly wants to play it. You just have to rattle the pieces in the bag... there's also Aggravation... the concept and the game. We like both!

rhhardin said...

Woody Allen's first play in scrabble-by-mail

I shall make the first play. The seven letters I have just turned up are O, A, E, J, N, R, and Z—an unpromising jumble that should guarantee, even to the most suspicious, the integrity of my draw. Fortunately, however, an extensive vocabulary coupled with a penchant for esoterica, has enabled me to bring etymological order out of what, to one less literate, might seem a mishmash. My first word is "ZANJERO." Look it up. Now lay it out, horizontally, the E resting on the center square. Count carefully, not overlooking the double word score for an opening move and the fifty-point bonus for my use of all seven letters. The score is now 116—0.

LordSomber said...

Don't forget suburban Molotov bike jousting...

veni vidi vici said...

I like women who enjoy playing a spirited round or two of the "twinkie-donut game" now and again.

jr565 said...
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jr565 said...
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Slave Laborer George #3W7D said...

GK:What word is that?

TK: Skelder.

GK: S-k-e-l-d-e-r ---

TK: Skelder. It's a verb. Archaic slang, meaning "to live by begging, to cheat, pander, procure, scavenge, scrounge"

GK:Okay, okay.

TK: So that's (HE COUNTS RAPIDLY) ten, fifteen, thirty-two, sixty- four, plus fifty for using all my letters, a hundred-fourteen, plus five, eight, fourteen, twenty-six for that word, so that's a hundred forty, so the score is three-hundred seventy-six for me and a hunnerd forty-two for Lefty and thirty-three for Dusty. Your turn, Dusty.

...Scrabble-playing Cowboys...Garrison Keillor.

jr565 said...
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jr565 said...

While ants in my pants is certainly not as good as scrabble and or Risk,that doesn't mean that people should be playing Risk or Scrabble either as there are far better games.

Look to the Euros, as there's been a renaissance in boardgame design over the past 10 years and you can find a game in almost any theme be it word games, war games or whatever, that will whet your appetite.