‘The Game’: One intrepid writer attempts those famous pick-up tactics
‘The Game’: One intrepid writer attempts those famous pick-up tactics…
Male chauvinism at its worst or just a bit of fun? Will Thompson goes out to Fruity to try out Neil Strauss’ infamous ‘pick up artists’ techniques. But will he be successful?
Whether you see it as a heinous example of male chauvinism or a liberating social tool, ‘the Game’ always tends to evoke a strong
reaction in anyone who hears of it or even goes as far as reading Neil Strauss’s pick-up bible.
For the uninitiated, ‘the Game’ is essentially a system devised solely with the intention of picking up women: anyone, anytime, anywhere. For those of you who see this as a real life version of Hitch, the 2005 cheese-fest in which Will Smith helps the unfortunate and inept to woo the loves of their lives, do not
be deceived. This is a system with one goal and one goal only.
Here are a few of the basic principles. Traditional dating advice is basically flawed, women don’t want you to be nice to them and they certainly don’t want you to buy them drinks. Dating is a battlefield that can be controlled by pushing certain buttons in the female psyche thereby making any man irresistible and when I say any man, I mean any man. Neil Strauss, author of ‘The Game’ and supposedly the most successful player ever to crawl the streets, resembles the sort of brothel-frequenter you might expect to see Bruce Willis kill in a Tarantino movie.
After ‘opening’ (approaching a group of women and initiating conversation) a main concept of the Game is ‘the neg’, negatively undermining and ignoring the target (oh yeah, they talk in targets). Another is ‘peacocking’, sporting ridiculous outfits such as top hats or tutus to draw attention and interest. It doesn’t stop there though, after all ‘negging’ and ‘peacocking’ have been staples of the male dating repertoire since time began, but now these guys have actual step-by-step routines that they recite line by line. A standard opening gambit might be ‘excuse me girls, I’ve been looking for a birthday present for my sister, what do you think I should get her?’ and the routine plays out from there.
It all seemed pretty unbelievable and I wanted the truth, from a purely journalistic point of view of course. So with shamefully little persuasion I enlisted the help of my housemates to go out and see whether ‘The Game’ really worked.
So picture the scene, Friday night, Fruity, armed to the teeth with our pick-up routines, my friends and I hit the Terrace, leaving our morals at the door. The ‘opening’ to the first group of girls was without doubt one of the most embarrassing and cringe-worthy experiences of my life. Looking back, stammering something bizarre along the lines of ‘can I get your opinion on something… etc’ with a sweaty brow and shaking hands was never going to get me far. The rest of my night passed off with variously horrendous levels of success.
The worst was when a girl asked me with a disgusted face, ‘Are you trying to do that game thing with us? Because if you are I think
you’re absolutely pathetic, you should be ashamed of yourself.’ I wanted to protest my innocence, tell her I was doing it as a feature
for the paper and beg for forgiveness… but a true gamer never breaks character.
My friend, on the other hand, had much more success. It probably helps that he’s 6’2, has Johnny Depp’s face and Channing Tatum’s abs.This was the kind of guy who never had to try too hard to get a girl. He went for something slightly more off the wall, ‘Hi I’m Danny from Blue’s brother, he’s just come out as gay, like literally this minute he texted me. I want to be supportive but don’t know what to say, can you help?’ There isn’t anyone even called Danny in Blue, I’m pretty sure his name’s Duncan.
Due to my failure at the Game, I thought it was worth getting the opinion of a believer so I interviewed my friend, well, acquaintance, who goes out sarging on a regular basis…
Do you think the game works? I had absolutely zero luck.
It completely depends on how much time you’re willing to put into it. Like anything it takes practice. You have to put aside your peronal inhibitions and embarrassment and just go for it. You have to expect to be rejected and not take it personally. In time, you’ll get over yourself and start to enjoy it and just see it as a challenge.
What would you say to people who think the game is sexist?
I wouldn’t say it’s sexist, or it doesn’t need to be. It’s mainly about making yourself comfortable about talking to strangers and I actually think it’s quite a good thing to have less inhibition because if you don’t try you’re never going to get anywhere. I admit that some people take it too far though, the people who write in the ‘lairs’
Lairs? What are lairs?
Lairs are online forums where pick up artists share ideas and discuss different techniques.We also discuss our success stories and assess each other on how we could get improve at picking up women.
A lair. I think that image is enough to put me off the game for a lifetime.
After a hard night of field research I’ve come to the firm conclusion that the Game doesn’t work, at least not for a bumbling, lanky idiot like me with about as much charm as an ironing board.
Author: Will Thompson