by Neil Strauss
When I mentioned to my coworkers that I was reading this book, without exception, all of them reacted poorly: “thats manipulation,” “you wont find a girl that way,” “rawr!” etc. They are also all single. Having said that, the Game is an interesting read and I appreciate the attempt to breakdown social interaction into equations or variables not unlike seeing the code behind a program.
Strauss narrates his metamorphosis from awkward, womanless writer into a still awkward womanizing writer via his study of all facets of “the game:” nlp, flirting, body language, seduction, and communication. Noticeably, love is not in the pickup artists’ vernacular.
Strauss begins his journey on Mysterys Lounge, a pickup artist forum, where pubescent guys post their adventures with ladies, or the lack thereof, in an echo chamber full of bromantic support. Strauss studies all the best pick up artists posts until he has memorized their tactics. Eventually Strauss meets Mystery, a schizophrenic Canadian who Strauss considers to be the greatest pick up artist of all time and the prime mover behind the pick up artist movement.
After Mystery takes Strauss under his wing and teaches him the finer details of “sarging” or picking up ladies, Strauss and Mystery travel to eastern europe and across the US wooing many many insecure ladies while charging lonely guys $800 per person for three day pick up artist boot camps. At these camps, one is taught the basics of PUA:
– approach (opener/pickup line such as Strauss’s jealous gf), demonstrate value (pink box routine), isolate (phase shift), close
– cat string theory, peacock theory, push/pull
– seduction = attraction + comfort
– value = looks + wealth + status
Strauss and Mystery’s journey culminates in the creation of Project Hollywood: a glorified frat house, filled with dudes paying money to learn the game from Mystery or his rival, Papa.
Needless to say, with a spiritual leader who is literally insane and is sent to the mental hospital three times over the course of The Game, Project Hollywood fails, after the pickup artists turn on eachother like in Lord of the Flies.
In conclusion, The Game represents one mans perception and approach to solving one’s sense of inadequacy. As Strauss points out, we often vainly look to the outside to fill a void on the inside whether it is with women or weed or whatever.
In the end, Strauss makes a strong case against the pick up artist lifestyle as an end in itself, by actually finding his true love: the last sentence is Strauss leaving the game.