Ain’t It Awful

Original First Edition of Games People Play 1964

Original First Edition of Games People Play from Eric Berne’s private library.

This is played in four significant forms:  Parental pastime, Adult pastime, Child pastime and game.  In the pastimes there is no denouement or payoff, but much unworthy feeling.

“Nowadays” is the self-righteous, punitive or even vicious Parental pastime.  Sociologically it is common among certain types of middle-aged women with small independent incomes.  One such woman withdrew from a therapy group when her opening move was met with silence instead of with the excited corroboration she was accustomed to in her social circle.  In this more sophisticated group, accustomed to game analysis, there was a conspicuous lack of togetherness when White remarked:  “Speaking of not trusting people, it’s no wonder you can’t trust anyone nowadays.  I was looking though the desk of one of my roomers, and you won’t believe what I found. “She knew the answers to most of the current community problems:  juvenile delinquency (parents too soft nowadays); divorce (wives without enough to do to keep them busy nowadays); crime (foreigners moving into white neighborhoods nowadays); and rising prices (businessmen too grasping nowadays).  She made it clear that she herself was not soft with her delinquent son, nor with her delinquent tenants.

“Nowadays” is differentiated from idle gossip by its slogan “It’s no wonder.”  The opening move may be the same (“They say that Flossie Murgatroyd”), but in “Nowadays” there is direction and closure; an “explanation” may be offered.  Idle gossip merely rambles or trails off.

The description of this game on this page is incomplete.  For a complete description of this game, refer to Games People Play.