Friday, October 30, 2009

Open Post on Game



Per Eumaios' fine suggestion, I am creating an open post on Game, where anyone can weigh in with their thoughts and feelings and (most likely) insults.

A few days ago, Welmer's article, How Game Secured America's Independence, created an aftershock in the Summer of '09 Game controversy. In light of that, I've been spending a good chunk of time at Ferdinand Bardamu's blog exchanging ideas with Eumaios, The Fifth Horseman, and a few others about what Game is, why it's counter-productive, and what better alternatives exist.

Today, my opinion of Game remains the same as it did on Aug. 25, when I wrote...

“Up until last week, I knew nothing of ‘Game.’ I began my research with an open mind. Having completed my research, I feel comfortable stating that Game is not the answer because it fosters an attitude in which men objectify women, casual sex is excused or even encouraged, and as it pertains to married couples, it doesn’t facilitate the emotional, spiritual connection that is the key to true happiness. Of course, knowledge is power, and it is worth knowing what makes women ‘tick’ inside. But that’s independent of Game, which has – for whatever reason – morphed into a chauvinistic pseudo-religion among the men who preach its gospel. The bottom line is: There are better alternatives to Game.”
When Chuck Ross
asked me, “What are the alternatives?” I replied...

The alternative is to take ownership of your life. Everything you need to build a happy and successful life is inside you – inside your mind. The power to think – and by that, I mean the power to think rationally – is the power to grow, and to be everything you wish to be. A rational man is a competent man…and a competent man is a confident man…and a confident man is a happy man. A man with that package (competent, confident, and happy) is extremely desirable to other women (or at least those women who are worthy of his love). And he can give that love to a woman because he is complete on the inside. There are no guarantees in life, but I’m confident that nearly every man who applied those principles would find more love and happiness than he would through Game. I can say that from experience.

Eumaios responded, “I think you should be arguing that what we call ‘Game’ should really be called something else. Then help us coin a name for it.”

To that, I answered...

Hmm, an interesting challenge. I actually like the term “Game” to describe the chauvinistic pseudo-religion that is advocated by Roissy and propagated by his allies with posts like “How to Use Your Penis to Show Her Who is the Boss.” The word “Game” itself sound manipulative and frivilous, which is precisely what that mindset entails. However, I’ve always said that to the extent that what is popularly called “Game” encourages men to learn what “makes women ‘tick’ inside” (and to use that knowledge to boost their relationship success) I am in favor of that.

Perhaps it is THAT knowledge which needs a new name. I’ll suggest “Strategic Romance” or the “Relationship Arts.”

The Fifth Horseman (TFH) then tried to convert me to Game indirectly...

Let’s take a step back : How much do you believe in evolution as a driver of behavioral psychology, as opposed to societally mandated values?

That made me smile. I answered...

That’s an excellent question, my friend, and I’m glad you asked it. My answer is: “Not much.” Most of what is supposedly true in ‘Evo-Psych’ is false. And the stuff that IS true has a habit of being misunderstood and abused.
Oh one note: The “good parts of Game” have been around a lot longer than the word “Game” itself. The original essay which started this whole tempest (Welmer’s piece on Ben Franklin) proves that “strategic romance” (for lack of a better term) has been around a lot longer than the Roissy school of relationships.

As I said above, to the extent, that this online Game community wants to be a positive force for men, it should distance itself from Roissy (and those like him), which – sadly – is probably impossible since Roissy is considered a hero in these parts.

TFH replied...
You seem to think Roissy is advocating something entirely different from "strategic romance."

To that, I answered...
Yes, I do. If Roissy is advocating the same thing as “strategic romance” than the word itself is corrupted and meaningless. There has to be boundaries on what “strategic romance” would recommend to men; Roissy’s lifestyle – by definition – would have to be outside that boundary...

The mere fact that the Game movement considers Roissy to be a hero gives me enough knowledge to make the judgment that the pluses of Game are outweighed by the negatives.

And with that, I open this post to everyone else...

Note: A full compilation of my articles on Game can be found here.







12 comments:

Eumaios said...

TW: The mere fact that the Game movement considers Roissy to be a hero gives me enough knowledge to make the judgment that the pluses of Game are outweighed by the negatives.

This a great crack to start hammering at, both in the context of this conversation, and as a way to stress the community.

1) To what extent is it true that the Game movement regards Roissy as a hero? What members of this loose community do not regard him so? Are there sub-communities, and if so, what are they, and how do they overlap?

2) Can and should we seek schism on this fault line?

Todd White said...

Eum: “To what extent is it true that the Game movement regards Roissy as a hero?”

TW: I think the best evidence is that Ferdinand himself refers to the online Game community as the “Roissyphere.”

Without question, Roissy is the most famous of the Game bloggers (I was introduced to the “Game movement” when I linked to Roissy’s site from a John Derbyshire article.

The pro-Game bloggers are obviously quite aware of Roissy's popularity, so they are eager to stay on good terms with him, and other effusive praise to whatever new article he puts on his website.

Also, I’ve never heard Roissy criticized on any pro-Game website.

http://fbardamu.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/open-thread-the-fundamentals-of-game/


Eum: “What members of this loose community do not regard him so?”

TW: I can’t speak definitively on this issue, but in the several discussions I’ve participated in, the only pro-Game blogger who seems to restrain himself from drinking Roissy’s bathwater is Novaseeker (although Novaseeker still sees Roissy as an ally). There may be other pro-Game bloggers who share Novaseeker’s attitude but thus far, I’m not aware of them.

Eum: “Can and should we seek schism on this fault line?”

TW: I’m inclined to say “yes.” For any burgeoning social movement, one of the best ways to define WHAT you are is to define what you are NOT. That’s one of the keys to success.

Think back, for example, to the early days of William F. Buckley when he was building the conservative intellectual movement. He threw the John Birchers out. And in doing so, he was basically saying, “Even though these guys share most of my goals, they’re too crazy, and they’re preventing us from achieving those goals.” In this analogy, Roissy is the John Bircher (but worse). And it’s fair of other people (like me) to call the Gamers out on this. If Game accepts (and even encourages) Roissy-like behavior, then it’s corrupted while still in the crib; it has no future.

Todd White said...

A new lovely post by Roissy...

http://roissy.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/ugly-people-made-me-an-atheist/

Justin said...

I laud you for even attempting rational conversation with the Gamers. Like all religions, their adherence to Game is part of their identity, and therefore only weakly subjected to any rationality. I also questioned the validity of evo-psych in the comments of the Spearhead, and was simply dismissed as Christian and SoCon, no effort to actually discern what my reasoning was. I finally lost heart when even moderates like Welmer and Nova openly advocate nihilism. Thanks for running with the baton.

Todd White said...

J: “I laud you for even attempting rational conversation with the Gamers.”

TW: Thanks. I only do it every few weeks. I’m not sure why. I guess hope springs eternal: I guess I figure I can knock some sense into them, which of course never happens.

J: “Like all religions, their adherence to Game is part of their identity, and therefore only weakly subjected to any rationality.”

TW: Yes, I agree with that. The fact Game becomes a part of their identity makes it almost impossible for criticisms to pierce their intellect. “They hear, but they don’t listen, and they certainly don’t understand.”

lifescansdarkly said...

Game only became a real issue when it went mainstream. I've always viewed it as a set of tools to make interaction with women easier on men who haven't experienced much success in that area. It's like picking up some quick and dirty ways to drop your opponent for the guy who lives in a bad neighborhood. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, but the problem arises when you begin taking it so seriously that it becomes a mindset - like money, game should be a tool, not a goal.

Todd White said...

LSD: "There's nothing inherently wrong with game, but the problem arises when you begin taking it so seriously that it becomes a mindset - like money, game should be a tool, not a goal."

TW: That's a fair synopsis of my position, as well. Those who do "take it so seriously" are the ones I'm trying to engage and persuade (so far without any success). For some strange reason, the Game community has turned some of the "tools" of Game into an overarching life philosophy in which Game is the solution to every problem. The end result of such a philosophy is hedonism and nihilism (as we see in the case of Roissy).

Eumaios said...

Todd, here's a newcomer to the Spearhead who senses the difference between PUArtistry and "Game":

http://the-spearhead.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=20

Todd White said...

Thanks, Eumaios. That's interesting. I wish he would elaborate, however, on why he thinks the Game community is superior to the PU Artists and what specifically about Game has helped him. Actually, maybe I'll ask him that myself in a little bit.

Todd White said...

This new essay by Ferdinand is especially disgusting. The final paragraph is a nice summation of the Game philosophy of life, and it's a sad philosophy, indeed.

http://fbardamu.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/women-dont-get-to-define-female-beauty/

Jennifer said...

You're a wise one, Todd. Thank you so much for your words against fools like FB and Roissy, spreading dangerous poison.

Speaking of how disgusting many kinds of game are, you said elsewhere, didn't you, that Justin was joking when he said Jesus invented game with often cruel treatment of women? Do you still think so? Because his post thus alarmed me and saddened me terribly.

Todd White said...

Thanks a lot, Jennifer. As you can see from a lot of the comment threads, I usually generate criticism from readers, so I appreciate all the compliments I can get :)

But back to your comment - I don't recall the statement you said I made about Justin. Can you send it to me? I'm afraid my memory fails me :)