Games People Play is delivering all the juicy plot twists, steamy scenes, and OMG moments that BET fans can’t get enough of. The series follows in the footsteps of shows like The Game and Survivor’s Remorse by taking a dramatized look at what goes on in the private lives of top athletes and has already drawn people in with its glamour, deceit, and shocking revelations. But, most people would be surprised to learn that this show isn’t simply an alternate take on Real Housewives-ish drama – Games People Play is based on a book entitled Games Divas Play, per Deadline, that is as enthralling as its TV counterpart.
According to GoodReads.com, Games Divas Play was published in 2014 and written by Angela Burt-Murray, the former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine and current Deputy Editor at Glamour Magazine. The book synopsis features the same primary characters as the TV series – Nia, Vanessa, and Laila – and follows their intertwining individual journeys. For the most part, the show seems to be falling in line with the book with Vanessa dealing with her NBA superstar husband’s infidelity, the “Golden Goddess” stirring up trouble for Marques and every man she meets in hopes of fame, and Nia trying to balance her dream job with her loyalty to a friend. And, both mediums have a shocking murder case that threatens to tear these ladies worlds' apart.
But, Games Divas Play documents Vanessa and Nia’s move from Los Angeles to New York, which is the opposite of Games People Play. The location change for the show makes sense, especially considering that Games People Play star Lauren London is a Los Angeles native who is raising her kids in the city and likely wants to film close to home.
The infamous city is known for its glitz, glamour, and as the place where up-and-coming people like Laila go to chase their dreams, so why not give this story a West Coast setting? As expected, there are also a few name changes, including the company that Nia from DivaDish to Deep Dive Daily and Marques’ (whose name is spelled Marcus in the novel) team name from the New York Gladiators to the Los Angeles Vipers.
The book approaches the story different by breaking down each chapter from Nia, Vanessa, and Laila’s first-person perspective to really get a chance to see what is going on in their heads and why they take certain actions.
But, the TV series gives a broader perspective by showing other characters like Marques, MJ, and Kareem outside of their interactions with the main trio. It’s a welcome change because fans get to have a fuller perspective on the side characters that play a major role in these women’s lives. Don’t worry Marques, everyone still thinks you are a terrible husband who doesn’t deserve Vanessa’s love.
Only time will tell if Games People Play stays on course with its source material, but the show is already gaining a legion of fans who are following these ladies’ lives as they live, love, and lose in Los Angeles.