Games People Play
The classical game is played between domineering fathers and teen-age daughters, where there is a sexually inhibited mother. Father comes home from work and finds fault with daughter, who answers impudently, or daughter may make the first move by being impudent, thereupon father finds fault. Their voices rise, and the clash becomes more acute. The outcome depends on who has the initiative. There are three possibilities: (a) father retires to his bedroom and slams the door; (b) daughter retires to her bedroom and slams the door; (c) both retire to their respective bedrooms and slam the doors. In any case, the end of a game of ‘Uproar’ is marked by a slamming door. ‘Uproar’ offers a distressing but effective solution to the sexual problems that arise between fathers and teen-age daughters in certain households. Often they can only live in the same house together if they are angry at each other, and the slamming doors emphasize for each of them the fact that they have separate bedrooms.
In degenerate households this game may be played in a sinister and repellent form in which father waits up for daughter whenever she goes out on a date, and examines her and her clothing carefully on her return to make sure that she has not had intercourse. The slightest suspicious circumstance may give rise to the most violent altercation, which may end with the daughter being expelled from the house in the middle of the night. In the long run nature will take its course – if not that night then the next, or the one after. Then the father’s suspicions are ‘justified,’ as he makes plain to the mother, who has stood by ‘helplessly’ while all this went on.
In general, however, ‘Uproar’ may be played between any two people who are trying to avoid sexual intimacy. For example, it is a common terminal phase of ‘Frigid Woman.’
Eric Berne, Games People Play, 1964.