The Most Popular Version
No. of players: 2+
Roles: Player, Scapegoat
Object of the game: To evade all responsibility and successfully throw the blame off oneself no matter the situation or setting.
The first version of the Blame Game involves finding a scapegoat to lay the fault on. The Scapegoat is the person that is held accountable for the mistakes or faults of others, and is blamed for things that they had nothing to do with. Scapegoats can be timid, and people who are repeatedly taken for granted. Players find it easy to hurl the blame on them because they are perceived as less likely to retaliate.
This game works perfectly for people who do not want to take responsibility for their actions, or are too afraid to find fault with themselves, lest others catch sight of what they feel is vulnerability. Players do not realize that it takes courage to admit one’s faults, and view any sign of being seen to have made a mistake as one of weakness. They are obsessed with how others view them. They also consider this version to be the easy way out, not wanting to exert effort in correcting their behavior or judgment. The problem with this version is that The Player cannot advance with such a mindset, as without self-awareness, there can be no self-improvement. They do not realize how severely it can affect personal, social and professional relationships, and stunt growth.
You’re on your way to the airport to catch a flight. As soon you approach the check-in counter, you realize your passport is lying on your bedside at home. Hell breaks loose in your mind, as you blame everyone you know for coming in your way and making you forget to pick it up as you were leaving home. It was your spouse’s fault for choosing that precise moment to hug you goodbye, your five-year-old’s fault for calling your attention to their latest masterpiece, your boss’s fault for ringing you just as you were wheeling your bag out. Fate for infusing a hundred thoughts of things that had to be done… But the mistake was not yours. Sound familiar?
No. of players: 1
Object of the game: To blame oneself for whatever goes wrong
Requirements: Negative self-image
Instructions: The Blame Game can also be played in single player mode. This involves The Player victimizing themselves for all their misfortunes and mistakes as a result of how they perceive themselves. This version also impedes inner growth and progress, as The Player is too wrapped up in their own misery and insecurity to think beyond it.
After being together for a while, a man tells his spouse he’s no longer interested in her and leaves her for another. The woman blames herself for driving him away, over-analyzing every moment of their time together to pinpoint everything she thinks she did wrong, loses her self-confidence, and becomes insecure about herself. She develops a deeply negative self-image, damaging her chances of successful relationships in the future, as she has lost touch with the fact that it’s as important to offer kindness and love to oneself as it is to others.
No. of players: 1
Object of the game: To hold oneself accountable for one’s errors or failings
Requirements: A solution-focused approach to life
In this final version, The Player takes responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those actions. The Player does what they can to fix anything that goes wrong, without placing the blame onto someone else. They refrain from blaming themselves for everything that goes wrong in their life and falling into a miserable stupor of self-doubt and low self-esteem. But instead, they analyze a situation rationally and take responsibility for whatever didn’t go the way they’d planned it to, if it was their fault. The Player then learns from their mistakes or the reasons behind a failure and moves on, noting the lesson learnt and enforcing it.
A boy, while playing with his toy airplane, accidentally bumps into his mom, who in turn drops the bowl of spaghetti and meatballs she was going to serve the family. There goes dinner. Instead of berating him, the mom asks him to be careful, calls on the entire family to clean up the mess, and then help her make an impromptu dinner for their starving selves.
It’s effortless to accuse someone of something that we know was our fault. So is paralyzing ourselves with persistent self-shaming. But owning up to our mistakes and their repercussions takes guts, an active conscience, and consciousness to accept our limitations and work towards overcoming them.
Which version of the game do you prefer to play?