Pickup artists argue that “Game” is the solution to Elliot Rodger-style rampages. Here’s why they’re wrong.
Posted by David Futrelle
Pickup artists, classy fellows that they are, are using Elliot Rodger’s killing rampage as a marketing ploy. In the comments to one of Rodger’s videos on YouTube, a company called Strategic Dating Coach offered their solution to prevent similar shootings in the future: send disturbed young men who can’t get dates to one of their coaching sessions!
While this response to Rodger’s mass killing is uniquely crass, the argument that “Game saves lives” is hardly new. To PUAs like Heartiste and Roosh Valizadeh it’s practically an article of faith.
In the wake of George Sodini’s murderous shooting spree in a Pennsylvania gym in 2009, Heartiste (then known as Roissy) wrote
If Sodini had learned game he would have been able to find another woman and gotten laid after his ex dumped him. He wouldn’t have spent the next 20 years steeped in bile and weighed down by his Sisyphian blue balls, dreaming of vengeance. Game could have saved the lives of the women Sodini killed.
The fact that Sodini had in fact imbibed in the alleged wisdom of pickup artistry, going so far as attending a pricey seminar from old-school pickup guru R. Don Steele, a self-proclaimed expert on dating young women, didn’t lead any in the pickup community to reconsider this position.
Nor has it this time. It is clear that Elliot Rodger was steeped in “red pill” thinking about women. And while he wasn’t himself a PUA, he was certainly aware of the basics of “Game.” Indeed, he subscribed to a number of PUA channels on YouTube and was a regular commenter on PUAhate, a sleazy forum devoted to criticizing “game,” not because it is manipulative and misogynistic but because it doesn’t work.
On the Roosh V forum earlier today, Roosh acknowledged that Rodger knew at least a little about “red pill” ideology – noting that Rodger referred to himself as an”alpha” – but still went ahead and argued that Game was the solution to massacres like this:
He is self-delusional and massively entitled, but exposing him to game may have saved lives.
In a followup comment, Roosh expressed his concerns for the real victims of this tragedy – Pickup artists:
I’m trying to think of ways our enemies will come after us because of this, but if anything, we’re the solution to this sort of murder rampage. This is the society that progressives wanted, where women are fully able to choose the top 10% of alpha males while shaming masculinity, leaving beta males with modest resources in the dust. Of course they will simply push a ban on guns, but this wholly neglects the cause. Seven people died because this guy couldn’t get laid … .
Other commenters were quick to agree. According to someone known as Moma,
Roosh has a very valid point. This will continue to replay over and over again. As human beings, our wiring is very basic yet primal. …
When have you last heard of a porn star shooting up a place? How many have emptied their balls in a hot lizard and then felt the urge to go and smoke 50 strangers?
According to Samseau, the problem wasn’t that Rodger hadn’t heard the Game Gospel; the problem was that he had rejected his salvation:
He knew about Game. If he had an account on PUAHATE then he knew about game. He was just a denialist. There was no helping this dude.
Roosh seconded this bit of wisdom, seeing it as clear evidence that “game denialism kills.”
Michelin, for his part, hoped that PUAs would be able to use the massacre as a publicity bonanza and a great “told you so” to all the haters.
One should write a mainstream article about this case. The argument that game could have saved lives can be an eye-opener and a smash in the face to haters of game.
Tuthmosis, the man best known for a Return of Kings post on the “5 Reasons to Date a Girl With An Eating Disorder,” reported his joy that PUAhate was getting bad press:
Seeing your enemies fall is a delicious treat you only get to taste a few times in your life. I’m savoring this delicacy with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. It’s a shame real people had to lose their lives, but I can’t help but think this will discredit a horrible website, PUAHate–and a way of thinking–that could have harmed even more men and innocent people. Beta losers will never go away, but this will wake up a few men and, more importantly, scare others.
Zelcorpion blamed “girls” and MGTOWers for giving Rodgers bad dating advice:
I bet a few girls told him that he only needs to be himself, be nice, be a gentleman, have a nice car, looks etc. – only to realize that it mattered shit. Instead of learning from the PUA-community he chose to listen to PUAhaters and some of the anti-female comments of the MGTOWs who themselves are often refusing to accept Game or even basic concepts like Alpha/Beta. I think that problem will become way worse, since hypergamy and promiscuity will only increase and most men will be left in the sexual wasteland.
But it took a relative newcomer to the forum by the handle of thedavidgt to raise the obvious logical objection to the Game-for-everybody solution to incel rage:
If every sexless beta in the world took it upon himself to learn game, approach girls, lift, dress well etc, would it not simply feed women’s egos and entitlement? So instead of occasionally getting awkwardly hit on by skinny fat, poor-dressed chumps, the average 7 would then be approached several times a day by extremely high value men. We’ll have a society of men working to improve themselves for women who will get lazier and lazier while at the same time demanding more and more.
In fact, the “Game saves lives” mantra is dead wrong, but not for this reason. First of all, there is no clear evidence that “game,” per se, works, except insofar as it encourages men to pursue large numbers of women and numb them to the pain of rejection. It’s possible that a few of the conversational ploys invented by various PUAs may work better than having no conversational ploys at all. But there are no magic cheat codes to “getting with women.”
There is one more disturbing way in which “game” may increase “success” with women for unscrupulous men: many of the standard techniques of “game”– invading a woman’s personal space, touching her repeatedly, trying to “isolate” her from her friends – may serve as “tests” to find women who are less likely to resist violations of their boundaries. In this way, “game” may serve as a quite effective enabler of date rape. Indeed Roosh himself has admitted to raping a date too drunk to consent.
So how much of a solution is training a guy who is already filled with a toxic mixture of entitlement and self-loathing (yes, these strange bedfellows do often go together) in some techniques that might help him to tamp down his insecurities enough to manipulate some willing or not-so-willing women into bed?
You might have simply turned a mass killer into a serial rapist, or possibly a serial killer. Ted Bundy was quite the charmer. Somehow this didn’t make him a decent human being.
Even if “game” were the beneficient form of “self-improvement” that some of its proponents like to claim it is, teaching Rodger how to be a better dater would not make him a better person. Would having a girlfriend solve all his problems? Hardly. Relationships require patience and compromise and mutual respect, and Rodger seems to have had none of these qualities. Instead of directing his narcissistic rage at “girls” at large, he would likely have ended up abusing a string of girlfriends.
The problem wasn’t Rodger’s lack of “Game.” It was his lack of humanity.
About David FutrelleI run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon, Time.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.
Posted on May 24, 2014, in all about the menz, alpha males, beta males, boner rage, empathy deficit, entitlement, evil sexy ladies, evil women, heartiste, imaginary oppression, incel, internecine warfare, irony alert, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, narcissism, nice guys, playing the victim, PUA, PUAhate, red pill, rhymes with roosh, self-congratulation and tagged elliot rodger, heartiste, incel, misogyny, pick-up artists, pickup artists, PUA, roosh. Bookmark the permalink. 1,747 Comments.