The Player of Games
I love playing games. As I have written before, the games are always being played. I only ever play to win otherwise there is no point. I cannot lose and sit back and smile and accept it was nevertheless an enjoyable experience because if I was to lose then it could not be enjoyable. I would be accepting that you or someone else is better than me. You are not. He is not. They are not. I always have to win. In order to achieve this I operate by a particular set of rules. You think you know what those rules are because when we first come together I deign to play by your rules; I agree to operate by the systems and conventions of your reality. That is easy for me to do because everything is going swimmingly. I am seducing you and therefore you are letting me win because it feels good. I am content to go along with the pretence of agreeing that these are the rules of engagement. You think you are winning because you are getting this wonderful, generous and loving person. In reality, I am winning because I am receiving plenty of positive fuel from you.
It is thereafter that the rules alter because I decide (and it is always my decision) that we will now abide by the rules in my reality. You are not given a rulebook and you have to guess what those rules are. As soon as you think that you have grasped them and got a handle on them, they will suddenly change. It is akin to playing a game of football and I am winning three nil. You score two more goals and you are in the ascendancy and likely to equalise. There would normally be fifteen minutes to go but suddenly I change the rules so there is just one minute left. You fail to score and I win. You protest stating that is not the correct time but it does not matter because here I am the referee, the assistants and the fourth official and what I say goes. If you do not like it, tough. I will just pick up the ball and go home with it. It is like a game of darts where you have to start from 501 and end with a double. I on the other hand start from 51 and do not need a double. You claim it is not fair but why should I care about it? I have to win. Thus, you may realise that I enjoy a lie-in on a Sunday morning so you do not disturb me. I will purposefully set the alarm early and get up waking you early. Or if I do have a lie in, I will concoct some mystery appointment that I have missed because you let me lie in. When you wake me early the following Sunday I will erupt at you for being so selfish and not letting me sleep.
When you think have ascertained what the rules are they will alter. You will do your best to try and keep up but it is exhausting and frustrating. Yet, this manipulation of the rules to allow our kind to win does not end there. Goodness me no. Our driven desire to always be the winner means that not only will we sucker you by pretending to play by your rules and then change them; we will then change the game. One moment you think you are playing Monopoly and then I am telling you it was Professor Plum in the Study with the Candlestick.
“But that is Cluedo,” you will declare rather puzzled.
“I know,” I will smile in return.
“But we are playing monopoly.
“No we are not.”
“Yes we are, look this board has streets from New York on it.”
“No it doesn’t, those are rooms in the stately home.”
“What are you talking about? See here and here, street names.”
“Are you blind? Those are snakes and ladders.”
“What? You’ve changed it again.”
“No I haven’t. You are just making a fuss because you are losing.”
“What are you on about? I am not losing, I was winning.”
“Not at all. Check mate.”
Our phenomenal capabilities for lying, blame-shifting, denial and reflection all mean that the game will change. You are wrong footed, unsure of yourself, confused and we keep on doing it. We must win, always and you have to lose, at your cost. We will apply all our methods of manipulation to ensure we are victorious and you lie sprawled in the dirt, broken and defeated. Our success has to be at everything and I mean everything, from the trivial to the substantial, Defeat is never an option for our kind and we will bend, twist and snap the rules and alter the game in order to achieve this. Now, let’s play a game. It is my favourite. You may know it. It is called Guess Who? You have no chance.
5 thoughts on “The Player of Games”
My apologies if this has been answered elsewhere; I’m new to your site. Have you ever played games with another narcissist? I assume you could win with a narcissist on a lower level, but would it be enjoyable with someone on your level?
This relates more to psychopathy, but it could also be the narcissist talking. It’s taken from a Netflix documentary – Into The Deep, The Submarine Murder Case – and I’ll provide a spoiler alert before I continue.
The case involves a man named Peter Madsen who became famous for building a crowd funded home made submarine and was attempting to become the world’s first amateur astronaut. The rest of the story is worth watching on Netflix, but this piece comes from the very end of the short series as he speaks to the documentary maker who began interviewing him a year before the lives of many people unraveled.
“Are you aware of the fact, maybe, that psychopaths exist amongst us – human predators that walks around and grabs people and uses them, and throws them out used, and maybe stalk them afterwards and so on. There are human predators among us, and psychopathic people are often very charismatic, they are excellent speakers, they’re convincing, they are having illusions of self-grandeur, and have no regard for anyone else … and he will try really to punish those people who have been under his spell; he will try to punish them afterwards by stalking them, by talking badly about them, all these things. There is a possibility that you have come upon a human predator.”
He shrugs his shoulders and looks questioningly at the interviewer.
“And I wouldn’t know” he says, then pointing to himself and continuing “because does the psychopath know he’s a psychopath? I’m not sure.”
The interviewer and documentary maker, Emma Sullivan, gave him the last word in the documentary, even though it was damning. I wonder if the psychopath would somehow take that as a ‘win’ in the deadly game he had played, even though it was game over for him before the documentary was ever aired.
Guess Who, will lose and be punished by wearing „FREE HUGS!“ sign around his neck.
It’s easy to win…even tiresome with endless weak opponents.