Truth about the game

Sometimes when I travel, I absolutely devour books. When I went to Germany I couldn’t put down Ender’s Game. In the Philippines I read Harry Potter six and seven.

With an impending 26 hours worth of travel time, I needed to pick up more reading material. Since I knew I wanted to read the Twilight series next, I picked up Twilight in Manila, but knew it wouldn’t be enough after buying it. Since we’d have a short layover in the Tokyo Narita airport, I decided I would pick up New Moon so I could get through part of the series, but came across a book that I had forgot I wanted to read—The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. (I also came across some hardcore pr0n, but that’s another story entirely.)

After awkwardly paying for my two new books (the Japanese sales girl didn’t speak any English apparently), I sat down and started devouring The Game. This isn’t so much as a review of the book, but a look into some of the truths in the book. This brief review I wrote begins five of these truths:

This was a very fast and entertaining read. Probably the best thing that I could have picked up from the Tokyo Airport, even though I went in there for the sequel to Twilight (which I subsequently stopped reading upon opening this book.) While I certainly don’t think this book will help me pick up girls, I can’t help but think about some of the techniques when I step out into public.

Truth one: opening

Opening is, of course, the act of initiated the conversation or the “pickup.” Although I wouldn’t consider myself shy, this is definitely one of the hardest parts of any new situation for me. Going up to random strangers and starting a conversation never appealed to me (although I tend to be overly social after drinking.)

In The Game, one of the techniques to get over this is to spend an entire day just saying “hi” to every woman that you see. Hi – that’s it. It’s very innocuous, and gets you in a positive mindset to start a conversation with total strangers.

I have yet to do this, but can obviously see the benefits.

Truth two: smiling

Picking up girls has a lot to do with confidence (apparently), and smiling exudes confidence. It also makes you appear warm and inviting. Budding pickup artists in The Game learn to smile whenever they enter a room, club, bar, etc., which is just good advice.

It’s a very conscience effort to smile upon entering a room, but it is something that I’ve been trying to focus on. Whether or not this is noticeable, smiling never hurt anybody and the world could use some more smiling faces.

Truth three: saying thank you

Receiving and accepting compliments can often be a little awkward. Sure, you’re grateful to receive them, but you don’t want to look conceited. So what’s the best way to receive a compliment? Say thank you.

Saying thank you acknowledges the compliment without celebrating it. It’s simple, graceful and shows appreciation.

The Game says “thank you” is the only confident response to a compliment.

Truth four: grooming

This is just a no-brainer, but good grooming is a must. This can also extend into dressing well. Well-dressed, good smelling people are just generally more attractive – nature comes into play at some point here.

Truth five: peacocking

When reading though the book, I absolutely refused to believe this, although I could see the value in it. Basically, “peacocking” is dressing outlandishly, or making yourself stand out in some way. The theory is that you will stand out enough that people will initiate conversations with you, taking away some of the work.

Recently my friend Ryan had his (very tame) bachelor party. Through luck and skill we acquired enough tickets at Dave & Buster’s to purchase six over-sized, Flintstone ties. These things were ridiculous, but we decided to wear them out to the bars the next day.

We looked like utter douches, but sure enough they were conversation starters. Granted most of the people who initiated conversations weren’t ideal for us (middle-aged women and drunk dudes), but the truth is they worked. Whether or not attractive girls mentioned the ties, they definitely noticed – and some even came up to us.

I also had the added bonus of selling my tie for $10 at the end of the night.

Of course this is hard to declare true after one experiment, but I can definitely say that we wouldn’t have got the same reaction without the ridiculous ties, which warrants further investigation.

These “truths” definitely fall into common sense advice (minus peacocking), but I think they each have merit and are worth trying in everyday situations.

I also highly recommend the reading The Game. It’s a very entertaining, fast-paced read. It even made me the “obnoxious laughing guy” a few times on the plane. I sincerely doubt it will help anybody pick up girls, but maybe it will help them learn something about themselves. I know it certainly made me realize what I am—an AFC.