Original First Edition of Games People Play 1964

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

This is a game played by the harried housewife.  Her situation requires that she be proficient in ten or twelve different occupations; or, stated otherwise, that she fill gracefully ten or twelve different roles.  From time to time semi-facetious lists of these occupations appear in the Sunday supplements: mistress, mother, nurse, housemaid, etc.  Since these roles are usually conflicting and fatiguing, their imposition give rise in the course of years to the condition symbolically known as “Housewife’s Knee” (since the knee is used for rocking, scrubbing, lifting, driving and so forth), whose symptoms are succinctly summarized in the complaint: “I’m tired.”

 Now, if the housewife is able to set her own pace and find enough satisfaction in loving her husband and children, she will not merely serve but enjoy her twenty-five years, and see the youngest child off to college with a pang of loneliness.  But if on the one hand she is driven by her inner Parent and called to account by the critical husband she has chosen for that purpose, and on the other unable to get sufficient satisfaction from loving her family, she may grow more and more unhappy.  At first she may try to console herself with the advantage of “If It Weren’t For You” and “Blemish” (and indeed, any housewife may fall back on these when the going gets rough); but soon these fail to keep her going.  Then she has to find another way out, and that is the game of “Harried.”

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