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5.0 out of 5 stars Learn the Rules, but Don't Play "The Game", October 30, 2007
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This review is from: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (Imitation Leather)
"The Game", at first, appears to be an informative, eye-opening, entertaining and DANGEROUS MANUAL ON HOW TO SEDUCE WOMEN. Deep within this controversial book, however, lies one of the best self improvement books available to man... as long as he understands and embraces the fundamental reality that the acquisition of confidence and personal worth are strictly required in order to succeed at the Game. A lot of low self esteem individuals will read this book and become, I believe, better men.

And I completely understand the threat many women would feel by this material. But intelligent women are insulated from the manipulation at which many of the individuals featured in this story are so inept. Only the naïve are at risk, as they always have been.

Many people refer to this book as a manual on how to seduce women. But Neil Strauss, its author, never made such a claim. It was merely his honest and humorous account of his experience in the PUA (pickup artist) community. But Strauss is a talented writer. And, as such, he not only managed to make this the very entertaining and insightful manual everybody said it was, but has also given an extremely valuable tool to goodhearted men with benign goals - a tool that can be used with mutual benefit, without anyone getting hurt or played. In spite of other reviewers' claims to the contrary, Strauss does disclose the nature and vivid examples of the emotional and spiritual consequences PUAs reap when they manipulate people for narcissistic purposes.

This endeavor began when Strauss, a writer for the New York Times, was given an assignment to write about the underground pickup artist community. Strauss was a skinny, balding intellectual who felt awkward around women and hadn't had much success with them prior. He immediately homed in on a character named Mystery and hit the mother load. Mystery was a modern day Casanova and widely considered, by the cumulative underground community of PUAs, to be the preeminent pickup artist in the world. Tom Cruise's seduction guru character in "Magnolia" was supposedly based on Mystery. By the time Strauss finished his assignment, he had transformed himself and assumed Mystery's title as tenth degree pickup master of the universe.

As I began reading the book, I felt uneasy. Knowing this knowledge was out there felt akin to suddenly discovering a bunch of troubled kids figured out how to make nuclear weapons.

I've always had great interest in psychology and what makes people do the things they do. I discovered my knowledge of psychology was pale in comparison to these guys. They (the serious ones) study contemporary literature on psychology and ancillary subjects, many of which involve some sort of self-improvement. The young, horny ones operate with one laser-focused mission: Bed women... bed as many "9+" women as possible! The more they bed, the more they validate themselves. But some, more enlightened ones, were simply looking to find the best wife/partner they possibly could.

Strauss began as Mystery's student. After a few successes, he began to catch the eye of other PUAs to whom he quickly acclimated himself. He soaked up their knowledge like a sponge. At the end of two years, Strauss had studied, one-on-one, the methods of all the world's alleged greatest pickup artists and took that which best suited his own personal style and made it his own. In the process he became an underground, worshipped legend - Code Name: Style. But in the process, he also greatly strengthened his core person and acquired the Holy Grail: self-esteem. This book doesn't just contain the cumulative knowledge of the PUA community, but one hell of an entertaining story.

It must be stated that the Game's contribution to much of Strauss' unstoppable success is mitigated by the fact that he was a writer for one of the most respected publications in the world, living in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills over Sunset Boulevard (a consequence of rising to the top of the PUA community), regularly interviewing celebrities and driving a nice car; most men with these assets aren't having issues dating. Still, I believe the majority of what he achieved was aided by his mastery of the basic principals of "The Game". And those are:

1. You can only "game" a woman with whom you are prepared to fail (if you find yourself wanting her too badly, you'll never have her)
2. Exude extreme confidence
3. Demonstrate some kind of value, skill or talent NEAR your target, but not directly to her. Initially, pretend you don't even notice her.
4. Win over her friends
5. Be hard to get
6. Be fun
7. Handle challenges from competing men intellectually and psychologically. Never fight.
8. Respond to any signs that she's not interested as if it were "no big deal"
9. Once you have your target's attention, playfully insult ("neg") her. For example, "I like your hair, is that your natural color?" The more beautiful the woman, the more effective the neg is in garnering interest as they rarely hear comments of that nature.
10. Once attraction has been established, punish any unwanted behavior by withdrawing and disinterest, but do not pout or have an attitude.
11. Alternate between attraction and disinterest signals in a push-pull fashion until rapport is established

There are many other rules, but those are the ones that stuck out to me.

As I read, I found myself subconsciously adjusting my behavior, according to Game theory... and getting surprising results. Women that used to intimidate me with their "presence" were suddenly acting goofy/nervous around me. Could this be real? After I got over the initial excitement of my newfound knowledge, I began to get disappointed that the women that made ME goofy/nervous for so long could be so easily manipulated. I feared that I would start to lose respect for women. Who wants someone they don't respect?

But by the time I got to the end, I realized that I wasn't manipulating anyone. I was simply carrying myself with more confidence. I found myself initiating conversations with strangers. There were no signs of neediness or social anxiety. I realized a man with a conscience can take a small portion of the knowledge shared in "The Game" to simply get over that first, most difficult hurdle of establishing rapport with a woman to whom he is attracted. I realized all anyone reading this book is really looking for is confidence. And many individuals that happen to gain a skill or talent as a result of his quest for a better sex life might just get some self esteem in the process. And that, I believe, is the greatest good of this material. The greater one's self esteem, the higher his goals.

Knowledge is power. And it's only how that power is used that can reveal the nature of its possessor. The only real dangerous "players" out there are the ones whose cognitive reasoning and emotional maturity never fully develop and, at the same time, possess Oscar-worthy acting skills. Yeah, there are a few out there. But an intelligent woman knows when she's being played. And as Strauss saw repeatedly, manipulating and seducing a woman, in and of itself, is a victory that invariably leaves one hollow, still unfulfilled. In the end, your true self is what counts and is the only thing that can find and keep love.
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 58 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 7, 2007 8:38:24 PM PST
S. Cashman says:
Great review - best of the bunch.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 9:06:11 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:25 PM PDT]

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 11:50:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 24, 2008 8:27:13 PM PST
Stephen! Thank you for your compliments regarding my review, here. They are appreciated. And I was hoping you and I could chat without anyone else interfering. I'd like to exchange ideas with you regarding religion and the universe some day, without mosquitoes buzzing around our ears. Let me make some time first as having a debate with you will require a lot more energy than I've expended in the past few weeks. (That's Props to you!)

And thanks for your concerns regarding my feelings about participating in the soapbox blog. I feel pretty good, though. No worries. My main purpose was to get Hoplite/Nero/Patriarch to reconsider his methods of getting his message out and to realize the pedestal he was standing on was only filled with his own hot air and was getting limp. His last posts suggest, at least for now, he's acquired some temperament. That pleases me. Let's see how long it lasts.

Please keep in touch. I enjoy communicating with intelligent people.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2008 8:37:24 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:24 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2008 9:32:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 24, 2008 8:25:26 PM PST
>>[All I know about the universe is that Mr. X is the center of it. Well, that's "The Universe According To Mr. X" anyway -- he's got enough ego to satisfy an entire Roman legion and a sufficient amount left over for Caesar, too... and nothing to learn from nobody else 'cause don't no one know as much as he do, don'tcha know?!
]<< LMAO

Mr. X. That's too cool of a name for him. But I can't think a better one just yet. Is that guy something else or what? A very interesting character. I'm still not sure if he really believes he's superior or if he's just trying to provoke people. Either way he was a clown of the highest magnitude. He seems to be laying low. A full day without a post is unusual. I'm getting nervous. But maybe he'll cool out. We'll see.

>>[You mean, rather than with the "average American moron"? Ha!-Ha!
Yeah, I said it! ; )]<<

I must admit I'm becoming more of a misanthrope the older I get. At least there're a few good people left around.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2008 11:26:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2008 11:27:17 AM PST
Damn, Stephen, you're funny. I understood the misanthrope joke the moment I read it. But the laughter hit me about a half hour later while I was working. Good one! And Nero's attitude going "up to eleven", another good one! And seeing someone as smart as you chugging from a Jack Daniels bottle is priceless. You seem like a fun character.

Interesting to see you're from L.A. I thought we were mostly atheist sinners out here.

Anyway, it's still fun exchanging thoughts with you. I just noticed today that you had added more. I'll try to pay closer attention.

ps - You ever read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States"? I'm reading it now and it's infuriating me. In case you haven't heard of it, it's the history of the USA from the "poor and weak" point of view. History tends to be written by the winners of the conflicts. This is a history book told by the "losers" (for lack of a better word).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2008 12:51:33 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:29 PM PDT]

Posted on Feb 27, 2008 10:57:45 AM PST
Hey Stephen. Nice to hear from you. I just posted to your blog.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2008 10:33:29 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:27 PM PDT]

Posted on Mar 11, 2008 11:20:40 PM PDT
Your comments under Hoplite, Neuro, and Patriarch's reviews are making good entertainment.
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