A Book Review: The Game

Have just finished reading a book over the weekend.

The title of the book is "THE GAME". It is written by Neil Strauss. Hmm, from the title of the book, what do you think the book is about?

The author is actually an undercover in the Secret Society of PUAs (Pick-Up Artists). And they do precisely what their name suggests – they specialize in picking up girls in bars, clubs, or just at the fast food joints.

They bait you with "openers" such as "I need some female opinion on this," or "Have you heard about the best friend test?". Then they hook you further with their runes reading, handwriting analysis, palm reading or the "cube" test. And finally they "number-close" you.

It sounds so unbelievable right? I could have mistaken the book as fiction.

But no, this is indeed very real.

These mPUAs (Master Pick-Up Artists) have been zooming around US and sometimes Europe conducting seminars and workshops, teaching other guys how to become PUAs. And after that, they sarge. Sarging means going to pubs and other suitable venues, exercising their new-found skills.

And some of these PUAs have sarged Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to name a few. They even started establishments such as the aptly named "Project Hollywood" where Courtney Love have been known to be a house guest.

Seriously, it’s crazy. After finishing the book, I sit there thinking… is this real?

They perceive women like objects. They give each woman they are about to pick up a rating (1-10). I think at some point, they dehumanize the woman. Even the author admitted that he was beginning to lose respect for women.

But these skills they are teaching, men all around the world are just lapping them up. Because it is like gaining some superhuman powers. All of a sudden, you are able to pick up any woman you want. Wow! No more rejections. And even if you are bold, fat or ugly, as long as you are a good student, you would have a certain degree of success.

However, the book has an unexpected ending. When the writer finally met the woman of her dreams, he realized that she did not seem to be falling for any of the tricks in the book. She seemed to be immune to them.

And finally, what hooked her was the real him. She wanted him to be who he really is, not the pick-up artist that he has become. But yet, he kew that if he had not developed the style and confidence that he now had during the 2 years he was an undercover PUA, she probably would not have shown him the slightest interest.

To me, that is quite a paradox.

So you have all these men out there, who is your average Mr. Nice Guy. But women are simply not attracted to them because they are just TOO nice. And so, the men get fed up and decided to learn the secrets of the PUAs.

And yes, they are instantly transformed into Mr. Bad Guy. They use tactics and play games to hook the women in. But yet, they have no idea how to proceed from there. They do not know how to maintain a relationship. I mean, you cannot just keep playing games throughout the relationship, playing "hot" and "cold" all the time, can you? Or maybe you can. But if you are so busy playing games, would you actually have time to develop a real relationship?

There’s this one mPUA – Mystery. He is like one of the legends. He is one of the pioneers in the field of PUAs. Yet, he fails miserably in his relationships. He just does not know how to make it work.

Yet these men might not stand a chance with the women of their dreams by being Mr. Nice Guy… so what are they to do?

What are your thoughts? Do you think these methods would work in Asia? Or are they only successful in the more westernised countries? As a guy, would you ever learn the skills of the PUAs if given a chance?

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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6 Comments

  1. Nice Guys vs Bad Guy? This topic has been around for a long time. I think it all depends on each individual’s perspective. What might be “bad” in your view might be good in another person’s view.

    That being said, if women want to go out with so called “Bad Guys” then they should. One can only grow through experience.

    The same goes for the so called “Nice Guys” … just go give it a shot; after all experience is what you get when you do not get what you want. =)

    [Reply]

  2. While these PUA’s may have a hundred percent success in the west, I’d give them at least a 70 percent in SE Asia, and a zilch in the middle east… unless they wanna have their heads on a plate.

    And as for women having this insane attraction to bad boys, blame it on hollywood and those romance novels for glamourising the ‘bad boy’ persona…

    As for being a PUA, nah! I’d rather be myself… :-)

    [Reply]

  3. I stumbled upon this blog. Wow! Interesting read. I would say you shouldn’t take that book literally, certainly it was an entertaining read but you notice every character in the book was portrayed badly except Neil (the author).

    I would like to add thought some of the top so called “mPUAs” are from Asia, and yes these methods are universal.

    One last thing I would like to add is the reoccurring theme of “I just want to be myself”. If just being one-self (typical nice guy) and hypothetically this person was not getting dates then surely something has to change?

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  4. Hi guys… (Loong, Rudy, RSS)

    Erm, I am assuming that RSS is a guy… anyway, it’s interesting that everybody who commented to this post is a guy. :)

    Loong – I agree with you… to each her own… they have to take their chances. But I think all ‘nice guys’ can definitely up their market value by not being too ‘compliant’ to the girl’s each and every wishers.

    Rudy – haha… I thought the bit you say about Middle East is really funny! :)

    RSS – are you a PUA? :) You sound like you know what you are talking about! And yes, I have to agree that most of the characters were portrayed somewhat badly… I guess that is the power you have when you are the author. :)

    And true… if it’s not working out, then we have to find out what we are not doing right, instead of keep going down the same route over and over again. :)

    Once again guys, thanks for all your inputs! :)

    [Reply]

  5. Dan /

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to make a quick comment. I am 27, 5 10 and relatively muscular slim build. Most tell me I look exactly like Orlando Bloom. I get one comment a day about it when one of his films is currently playing. I am latin and know who to dance like one too.

    I am compassionate, spiritual, honest and fun and most women find it very easy to talk to me.(great this is sounding like an ad for a singles website).
    Anywho, up to this point though, I have never had any success with women. None. I once dated a girl for 3 weeks. That is the closest thing I can call a girlfriend and I was 25 at the time. I have had two very close friends who over the period of 2-3 years I gradually fell in love with. They both promptly rejected me several times while I strived to remain friends and then foolishly had feelings arise after many months later at start the whole process over again.

    Long story short. I heard about this pickup community. I was at first horrified by it and rejected that any of this stuff could be healthy or good or the like. I decided to read The Game of fun. Well here’s the final verdict. I sincerely tried some of the stuff from this community. It works even when I didn’t want it too. It’s helped boost my confidence to some degree because I figured I must have had some serious character flaw all of these years deep within if no one would even go out on a date with me.

    My point: there are a lot of people in that community of men who are well…pigs or supoerficial and have no intergrity…just like there are women who are the same, who use similar superficial tactics to get men. But there are those out there who are good men who for whatever reason never understood how to approach women and properly show and develop proper attraction and interest in them(ever seen that movie “Hitch”?; Will smith put it perfectly “because going up to a woman and saying “I like you” doesn’t work)

    Singers may have dishonest lives yet there music can still be terrific. These MPUA’s as they call them might be pigs but if they are helping just one wonderful guy out there learn to show how wonderful he is to another women, then maybe this stuff isn’t all that bad. Let’s face it. Men really do need help in this department. We do not read cosmo, pick up on body language and “signals” or get to talk about this with our “girl friends” about it, or start learning this stuff when we were 12.

    Anywho, I hope this helps a bit.

    Kind regards,

    Dan.

    [Reply]

  6. Hi Dan,

    Thanks for your comment! Yeah, it does shed some light on the book and people within the circle. :)

    As you have rightly pointed out, I think there are always 2 sides to the coin. Some people who take things to the extreme, and some who use the skills to enhance their current state, to help them become more successful in the dating game. :)

    Sincerely,
    Violet

    [Reply]

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