I’m not defending this game, I think the PUA movement can be quite disgusting. I think some of the things in the game (blocking someones path in public for example) are really bad advice at best and harassment at worst. Most of the rest of the footage from the trailer is cringey and uncomfortable. However I have to say that in the big world of sexual games I think this is probably the only game that allows you to do stuff that is ill-advised and actually connects negative results to that. I find this fact worth mentioning and I think it’s a bit click-baity that the title of the boingboing post doesn’t mention this part. It suggests a game that is only about grabbing body parts, like a trump-simulator, which would weirdly just be a porn game and not this bad? But I get why this editorial choice was made.
@bobtato Raises a point that actually matches my experience with this. When you are a (usually young) male that has had no romantic success this can wreak havoc on your self esteem. And the advise you get from your friends and family will be mostly useless.
I think the question in the thread, the one @daniel also tries to raise is: Is there a situation where this PUA advise could actually be helpful? And if there isn’t what would actually helpful advise look like?
First I want to address the unhappiness, isn’t that problematic in itself? Why should the ability to find or not to find a romantic partner have such a big impact on your happiness?
I think there are several reasons for this, one reason is that all humans are hard wired to want intimate human connections, another is that media has taught men that their value is based at least in part on how many ladies they can “bed”. A less sexist society would prevent or at least lessen the latter cause, but not the first. Overall I think decreasing sexism and having more people find love are both good things to strive for and can go hand in hand.
You could still explain this as guys needing to “use” women to validate their self worth. You’d be right, in a sense, but I think everybody wants to be loved and not achieving this will be a cause for unhappiness in nearly everyone (male and female). So in that way I see “helping helpless young guys get laid” not necessarily as a bad thing. (What percentage of misogynistic trolls online do you think are in a happy relationship? Just imagine some of them finding love for themselves (and from someone else) and leaving their online prey alone)
So this advise, the type Bobtato gave out to his friend, usually given in the form of for example: “Don’t go looking for it, you’ll only find love when you’re not looking” or “Just be yourself” I think this advise is mostly useless.
I think it is actually good advise, and is in fact usually exactly what the person in question needs to hear. It’s just that the advise doesn’t ring true because it doesn’t reflect their lived experience. If your every interaction ends in being rejected the good advice from friends and family feels like your mom telling you you are special. You know they mean it, but it’s worth nothing to the rest of the world.
When I was a teenager I would put any woman I interacted with on a impossibly high pedestal, I would just agree with everything she said in order to get on her good side. It took me a while to learn that this is not how flirting works.
Some of that learning came from PUA books and websites.
The scenarios they sketch made me realize (believe it or not) that I should treat women more like equals. When all you are doing in conversations is telling your conversation partner exactly what you think they want to hear, you are not going to be flirting, you are a creep. If you are assertive, funny and teasing, just like you would with a male friend, you will have much more fun and maybe actually be liked in the process.
When you are trying to kindle some romantic interest with someone, and your every action signals that this is your goal, you will come of as extremely needy and have no luck. However if you can convey the message that your interested in them but are not yet decided, that you expect some effort from your conversation partner before you decide, you will be in much better shape.
This is also where the nice guy meme comes from, people want to be treated as equals to each other and want to be challenged a little. If you are too much of a nice guy you will not provide that, at the same time you will see assholes that do provide this be much more successful.
All this can be traced back to having respect for yourself and for others. And it is nicely summed up by the good advise from earlier (be yourself = don’t suck up, don’t go looking = don’t be so needy) this advise is mostly useless since it is usually only understood as well meaning platitudes.
Having respect for yourself, being someone that is worthy of being loved, “no-one will love you if you don’t love yourself”, are all extremely clichéd phrases that finally made sense for me when seen through the lens of a PUA.
This brings us to the question, in the continuum the stretches from “just be yourself” to “grab them by the pussy” is there any point where the given advise would actually help unwillingly-single males find romantic success? I think there is, but I also understand the general hatred against the PUA community. I think there could and should be a middle ground somewhere but I don’t know if I could find it.
Since I made this quite personal, maybe I should share a bit more about me. I did not turn out to be a super creep (although I know that is also what a creep would say). I’m currently in my second long-term relationship (4+ years), I got there without too many detours and never harassed or tricked any woman on the way. I think I owe part (however small) of my romantic success to the information from the PUA community. The “success” in not harassing women is not included in there, that comes from a good upbringing and being generally too shy to be such a dick I guess.
I think most of the audience of the PUA’s are actually in the same circumstance, they just want to be loved. I feel like the assumption from people hating on PUA’s is that all guys following their advice will be successful in dating/sleeping with a unending string of women. This is not how humans tend to work, our media has more or less instructed men that more bed partners should be a goal every man should have (look at Barney from how I met your Mother or Charlie Sheen on two and a half men for good examples) the vast majority of PUA followers however will end up in a long-term relationship once they get their foot in the door (so to speak).
I could tell my younger self anything it would be the above lessons, I was pretty unhappy with myself for quite a long time.
Part of this was because I was not living up to the standards set in the media. This same conditioning also makes it hard for me to share the personal aspects of this, if you are a man and have to admit to being (or having been) bad with the ladies that is quite embarrassing. Even as I am aware of this conditioning and while I know it is stupid, I still hesitate to post this.
Wow this has become quite a long story… it is really time for me to go home now