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Game is pick-up-artist lingo for the skillful manipulation of mental states ("frame")[1] to help with courtship and seduction.[2] In practice, game means different things to different pick-up artists, but all use 'game' as part of a broader meritocratic philosophy of gamifying life, complete with 'winners' and 'losers'.[3] Among major PUAs 'successful game' is mostly about 'self-induced self-esteem'. Smaller PUAs include showing-off or fabricating accomplishments in general as 'successful game' quite often.

Around the mid-2000s PUA lingo entered colloquial speech through the adoption of modified PUA tactics by the general public, Hollywood, dating coaches etc. Colloquially, game is about confidence, charm and smoothness in showing off, much like courtship is presented in many Hollywood films.[4] Or even more broadly and colloquially, "game", is shorthand for any type of non-arranged seduction activity.[5]

Frame is a pseudo-scientific concept used to refer to mental conditions that "give direction" to everything that happens in an social interaction (including dating) and which a man with game can skillfully manipulate to his advantage.[6]

Neil Strauss[edit | edit source]

In 2005, Neil Strauss published, "The Game", which is described as pushing PUA in the mainstream.[7]

In it Strauss describes game as boldness, speech patterns, standing out, smiling, awareness of surroundings, not using questions, love, and being able to take compliments.[8]

RSD Nation[edit | edit source]

RSD Nation were arguably the most influential in formalizing, "game", in the PUA community. Perhaps because they were the largest PUA group in history. They argued that looks and money did not matter in dating, and that only 'game' did. RSD Nation promoted, "natural game", and defined it as changing, "how you expect the world to respond to you".[9] This boils down to thinking positively about yourself to make others do the same. In general, RSD nation promoted game as a neoliberal or highly individualistic self-actualization project, such as literally asking people to read Ayn Rand to develop game.[10] Unnatural game, promoted by followers of RooshV, rather than RSD, was about "becoming the best man you can be", rather than thinking-it-to-fruition.[11]

Ineffectiveness[edit | edit source]

Multiple studies on face-to-face, online and blind dating concluded that among a variety of physical and personality traits, including extroversion, only physical attractiveness predicted initial romantic interest and strongly so.[12][13][14] Since game largely amounts to extroversion and confidence, this suggests game is ineffective in such settings as only looks matter. One of these studies dates back to 1966,[14] so superficiality in face-to-face dating is unlikely a novel phenomenon.

Similarly, when OkCupid asked users to rate looks and personality separately, users did not distinguish between the two.[15] To confirm their hypothesis that pictures were what people were rating as good personality, OkCupid followed up with another internal study which showed that online bio text accounts for less than 10% of what users think of the profiles.[16] This means game in terms of witty and confident textual self-descriptions is also largely ineffective. Meeting online is notably now the primary way people meet for relationships,[17] however, this includes meeting up through social networks and chats, where personality may play a larger role than in the blind and semi-blind dating.

Effectiveness[edit | edit source]

Arguably, game may work outside of the face-to-face dating context, e.g. during socializing in a group, which is the more natural human mating context anyhow.[18] In a social context, confidence, game and charm may act as means of gaining social status and intimidating other males in intrasexual competitions which, in turn, enables men access to women.[19] This intuition is perhaps what lead PUAs to mistakenly apply the same to the face-to-face setting.

There is, however, evidence that women even desire being coerced to some extent. Hence, PUA techniques may boil down to outright coercion or even rape packaged in socially acceptable dating effort such as small talk and charm (even though these themselves have no effect).

Other studies on frame-projection[edit | edit source]

Humor[edit | edit source]

A study claimed that humor was seen as a desirable long-term-partner trait in men by women, but only if the man is good looking.[20] A different study found self-deprecating humor by high-status presenters (but not low-status presenters) increased long-term attractiveness for both sexes.[21]

Clothing[edit | edit source]

Main article: Fashion

Clothing is a way to display frame (if we're to take this term seriously) on both online dating and offline dating.

References[edit | edit source]

  5. Trick Turner definition and others
  14. 14.0 14.1

See also[edit | edit source]



GameSignaling theoryRomanceCourtshipNeggingSexual market valueBeautyCharismaOrbiterBullyingLMSPUAAssholeTalk therapyIndicator of interestDominance hierarchyFuck-off signalsSocial circleSlayerNeurolinguistic programmingOffline datingBragging


NeurotypicalCoolCharismaStoicAssholeDark triadNice guySimpApproach anxietyButterflies in the stomachConfidenceShynessLove shyAsperger's SyndromeSocial awkwardnessIQRationality

Pick Up Artists

Ross Jeffriesr/TRPReal Social DynamicsRooshVOwen CookPlayer SupremeWinston WuList of people in the seduction community


HypergamyCopulationCasual sexPump and dumpPromiscuityCock carouselRapeSexual harassmentBodyguard hypothesisBetabuxMarriage proposalReproductive successSexual envySex driveBateman's principleSexual economics theoryFemale passivitySexual attractionAttraction ambiguity problemFemale orgasmHuman penisSexual conflictSlutWhoreLordosisLeggingsPaternity assuranceMicrochimerismFeminine imperativePussy cartelRejectionAdverse effects of inceldomMaslow's hierarchy of needsHomosexualityHomocel hypothesisDemographics of inceldomPolygynyPolyandryMonogamyMarriageTraditionalist conservatismMate guardingMate poachingMate choice copyingIntrasexual competitionFacial masculinityFisherian runawayCreepinessValidation

Other theories

Timeless quotes on womenFemales are socially ineptWomen-are-wonderful effectGynocentrismMatthew effectApex fallacyClown worldFeminismSexual revolutionFemale subordinationFemale hypoagencyFemale solipsismPrincess syndromeLife on tutorial modeFemale privilegeFake depressionFemale sneakinessFemme fataleBriffault's lawJuggernaut lawHalo effectVariability hypothesisPsychiatryAntifragilityTriggeredLife historyScientific BlackpillScientific Blackpill (Supplemental)Evolutionary mismatchMutationBehavioral sinkPolitical correctness‎Affirmative actionVirtue signalingEugenicsEnvironmentalismMale scarcityRegression toward the mean