But they write very entertaining, intriguing books. “The Game” is one of those. It will disgust you by revealing a dark, seedy side of men–that which responds to sexual failure and social shunning with an array of clever but misogynist techniques designed to lure women into bed with them by making them want to want it. The book will disappoint you by giving examples of how that seedy side of men works on some women. And it will also make you reflect on your own behavior in what the pick-up artists (PUAs) in the book call “target-rich environments.”
I was fascinated while reading to find that I naturally did a lot of the same things that the PUAs did, though without the same nefarious purpose. When I meet a group of new people, I pay attention to an entire group (not just the most attractive girl). I do so because I’ve found that everyone has value; the PUAs do so to make the pretty girl comfortable and wonder why he’s not paying more attention to her. I like to discuss interesting topics (usually a fascinating pop psychology book I’m reading–“The Game” is a great conversation starter by the way). I do it because it’s more interesting than talking about how drunk you were the previous night; the PUAs do it because it “demonstrates value.” I also conduct quick psychology experiments on people to tell them things about them they might not have already known because it’s fascinating. PUAs conduct silly magic tricks in order to fool the girl into being impressed.
So, I can attest to the validity of the techniques and if I was a depraved reprobate, I’m sure I could attest to the efficacy of them as well in the resultant coupling. And that’s what infuriates me the most about the ideas in this book. The sick people who use these techniques in order to trick women into sex ruin the female population for decent gentlemen. “You’re so full of s*t. Are you a player?” “No, I’m just interesting.”
And while Strauss misses the big picture (he leaves spiritual out of the types of attraction), he does acknowledge the ultimate downfall of a mentality designed to manipulate people into affection. It doesn’t work and people end up going crazy. There are excellent techniques in the book to help people become more socially valuable, but if they’re used for the wrong reasons, they will only enlarge the moral cavity that underlies the facade.