“Game” and “pickup artistry” are not the same thing. That clarification alone would have saved much of the confusion and ill-will Ava Moretti’s recent piece generated.
If a man is described colloquially as “having game,” it means he is able to build and—in the case of long-term relationships—maintain sexual attraction with women. He embodies or exhibits interpersonal traits a vast majority of women are attracted to, largely because they signal genetic fitness. Such a man may be a misogynist, a womanizer, or fancy himself a pickup artist, but none of these is necessarily the case.
When a man goes about “learning game,” in the best case he is learning to better market himself to women. He may learn to tell his stories in ways that better communicate his values and interests. He may approach and converse with large numbers of women in order to gain confidence and reduce social anxiety. He may upgrade his wardrobe, improve his conversational skills, start working out, or simply learn the contours of female psychology and modern dating culture. This man is still “being himself,” he’s just being himself better. “Learning game” for him is the female equivalent of putting on makeup, though the improvements are less ephemeral. Most men, if not all, do this to some extent, and it’s hard to imagine any women being upset by this.
For another type of man, “learning game” means creating a façade—a lady-killing alter-ego that’s a good distance from his true self. Neil Strauss’s The Game chronicles this type well, describing how some men learned magic tricks, donned feather boas, and adopted silly nicknames in their efforts to win the favor of the fairer sex. This is the domain of pickup gurus and their “lust-filled beta male” followers Miss Moretti refers to.
It’s easy to scoff at men like this who “become someone else” to succeed with women, but I believe it is typically only an ego-preserving, intermediary step in a man’s relational development. Most men—even those who are physically attractive—must endure a tremendous amount of rejection on their path to become men with a variety of high-value partner options. Creating an alter-ego to withstand the brunt of this rejection helps some men as they develop the basic courting skills necessary in today’s anarchic sexual marketplace.
A pickup artist (PUA) is typically a variety of this latter type. A PUA uses game insights and techniques to establish fleeting relationships with large numbers of women. They measure their success by their “notch count”—the number of women they have bedded—as well as the quality of each “notch” and perhaps the stylistic flourishes of the seduction.
Pickup artists are nothing new. Casanova didn’t come “straight from the ghetto” and Porfirio Rubirosa wasn’t the product of Jewish machinations. Some Jews have certainly been behind the recent push to spread the pickup artist lifestyle, but even The Game’s Jewish author Neil Strauss advocates marrying and having children. His book itself shows the most well-known modern pickup artist, Erik “Mystery” von Markovik, as a histrionic, suicidal manic-depressive who seemingly spends more time crying than picking up women—hardly as anyone to emulate.
Pickup artistry is more of a lifestyle and an identity than a means of self-improvement. It’s morally dubious, hedonistic, and certainly not civilization-promoting. I’m not sure how widespread this phenomenon is, but I imagine a not-insignificant number of women have squandered years of their prime fertility window under the thrall of PUAs or men going through a PUA phase.
Certain PUAs (but not all of them) are the ones Miss Moretti says “devour techniques of trickery to strip unsuspecting members of the opposite sex of their panties along with their honor.” They are the ones willing to “swap whatever moral fabric is left in Western Civilization for soiled sheets as proof of their promised instant sexual gratification.” They are the justified targets of Miss Moretti’s scorn, but I believe she is wrong in conflating this form of pickup artistry with game in general.
Game is not monolithic, nor are the men who formally take to learning it. Instead of rejecting game outright, white nationalists could take what lessons PUAs and “gamers” have to teach and fuse them with our own values and ends. There is already a significant overlap between human biodiversity (HBD) enthusiasts, race-realists, and gamers, so this is fertile ground for outreach.
As is clear from Miss Moretti’s piece and the 183 comments it inspired, many men and women are passionately frustrated with modern sex relations, which is not surprising since traditional courtship seems a thing of the past. This could be seen as a tragedy or an opportunity. I think of it as both.