Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, Select, and Start

Jose Vilson Jose

game.jpgThey say men actually have a 6 in 10 chance of having a “successful” conversation with a woman. As a mathematician, I looked at that stat and said, “Well that means, because there’s tons of men and tons of women, that there’s a HUGE group of people that are pushing down the average of all men.” In other words, there are men who have little to no chance of having “successful” conversation with a potential mate, and that’s saying something. That’s right around dudes start looking for a solution. They pick up books like Dating for Dummies, get dating coaches like in that movie Hitch, or just give up altogether and enter into a state of almost absolute asexualism. Yes I made that word up.

For people like me, though, I needed something a little more foolproof. That’s where The Game came in.

The first time I heard of the book, I was reading AM New York on the F train, and caught the interview with Neil Strauss. The whole premise of his interview was about giving a taste of his life as a pickup artist. I was subconsciously drawn, because at the time, I wasn’t having as much luck with the “ladies.” Unemployment does a number on one’s self-confidence, and things just weren’t going right for me. I had a few dates, but … something just wasn’t right. Even my older brother gave me (very unrequested) advice about how to talk to women.

I went into Barnes and Nobles; the salesperson told me it was under Self-Improvement. I laughed heartily.

It looked like a King James Bible except for that little red lace coming out of the packaging. Leather-type cover with gold lining throughout the pages, and the title itself embossed in golden film:The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-Up Artists. I hate to admit this, as the males in my father’s side of the family are notoriously adept at picking up women, but the book changed my life. After a year, I had to recommend it to other friends who were in my former position. I never even used the actual tricks in the book; it was more to help me refocus how I talked to women, and that was helpful. (Now that I have a girlfriend, I have no need for it, but some of the tips given in the book apply to every first-encounter situation I’ve been in.)

Fast-forward to today, and this secret society is no longer secret. And one of the protagonists in The Game, a cat named “Mystery” has his own reality TV show aptly entitled The Pickup Artist. At first, I thought this would be foolish; how can one translate the intricacies of these processes without seeming too fake? Then I watched, and I was flabbergasted.

Mystery and his wingmen took the AFCs (Average Frustrated Chumps) to a bar in DC to talk to some women. It was their first time and they didn’t have any tools of the trade. When I tell you that these guys were just horrible, that wasn’t the 1/2. I found myself changing the channel for a brief second … because I found a lot of those mistakes in my former self.

One dude walks into the bar and he looks pumped and ready to go. He comes in there with a mission, stylish, and looks like he belongs. Then he talks to his first girl. CRASH. It lasted all of 40 seconds.

The next dude walks into the bar and comes in slowly. He circles the bar once and then focuses on two women. He starts talking to one, and ignores the other. However, he fails because the other girl starts talking to the girl he wants, and they close him off easily. Next thing you know, he’s saying good night and thanks …

“WHY ARE YOU SAYING THANK YOU? FOR WHAT?” – I screamed at the screen.

The next dude walks in there and he has a conversation, too … that lasted like 5 lines. It was a complete and utter rejection.

Another dude is given 2 chances with a nice girl and fails, another dude talks to dudes in the bar in the hopes that they’ll somehow introduce him to a girl, another dude gets the “We gotta go to the bathroom” line, and another dude just stands to the side altogether and doesn’t even attempt to fail.

And it really made me feel for those guys, because I’ve been there before. The common thread with all of them? They lacked self-confidence. Not to say that any of these dating techniques and self-improvement books will guarantee results within a matter of a couple of days (not everyone can be me … jokes, jokes …), but they’re all round about ways of getting the confidence to talk to a potential mate. The Game is a cheat code that’s rather unfair, but it’s the only way some dudes can level the playing field.

jose, who has no remorse