Saturday, August 31, 2013

Game is Not a Four Letter Word For Christians

A grown man knows the world he lives in, and for the present, the world is Rome.
In the film Ben-Hur, Pontius Pilate gives this advice to an angry Judah Ben-Hur who, after climbing from slavery to the top of the Roman social order, has decided to turn his back on everything that is Rome. He returns a signet ring to Pilate (signifying his giving up his Roman citizenship), and declares his disgust for Rome and anything associated with it. It's a powerful scene. Pilate comes across as little more than an amoral pragmatist; Judah Ben-Hur seems courageous and principled.

Game has dark roots by Christian standards. It started out as guys on the Internet trading ideas about how to get laid. In particular, how to walk up to woman a you had never met before, and have her in bed before the night was out. Not using force or money, but by convincing her that it would be a fantastic idea to sleep with you—right now. And, it worked.


Then something unexpected happened. Men at the other end of the social spectrum—shy, socially inept men—started to ask how they could simply talk to a woman without her publicly emasculating them by proclaiming “YOU think you're good enough for ME!” And, lo and behold, game worked for them also. Dating, marriage, children, a family—a normal life—suddenly became a real possibility for these men.

Not despicable at all.

Game is amoral; game is concerned about reality, and men were desperate for answers about why the world worked as it did. So, they extended game into other areas of their lives—marriage, work, school, the legal system, politics, church, and economics—in an attempt to see if they could answer why these things were as they were in modern culture. Game developed a profile of men, woman, and American culture. The profile is unflattering (to say the least), and has led some to call game anti-women (and ironically others to declare it anti-men). But game isn't anti or pro anything or anyone, it's about what works. Pragmatic to its core, if something worked it became part of the profile; if it didn't it was discarded.

Wandering into a game discussion is like wandering into a Porkey's movie, paintball battle, engineering meeting, and economics conference rolled into one. There's no respect for people, tradition, political correctness, feelings, education, authority...anything, except for truth. Above all else the goal is to find the truth, and the truth is defined as what works. If something doesn't work, then it's not true.

Ideas are run through the gauntlet of a thousand people repeatedly trying them, ripping them apart and putting them back together. It's Deming's quality cycle on overdrive. Just as iron sharpens iron, when a thousand people (whose only criteria is what works) have contributed improvements to an idea you end up with a very sharp sword. One that threatens a lot of so called experts.

Those familiar with game laugh at self proclaimed social-sages when they advise men to “grow up and act like responsible adults,” because they know the social conditions to make their advice work hasn't existed in America since the Cold War. They also become angry, because they know there is some poor schmuck who will follow their advice. They know someday that poor schmuck will look up at the sky and scream “God, I've done every thing I was supposed to do; why is my life a disaster?” They know, because they were once that poor schmuck screaming at the sky.

Ivory-tower academics, religious leaders, and social commentators seem to be positively baffled over the problems of American society. They don't have the answers or even being to understand the cause of any of the following questions:
  • Why over 50% of marriages end in divorce
  • Why 75% of divorces are initiated by the wife
  • Why married women cheat as often as men
  • Why 4% of married men are raising a child that he believes to be his biological child, but really isn't
  • Why 20% of marriages are sexless marriages
  • Why there are more male virgins in college than female
  • Why only 20% of college men are the sexual partners of 80% of college women
  • Why dating in college has died and been replaced by hookups
  • Why 80% of college males live like monks and rarely date, much less have sex
  • Why an entire generation of men refuses to “grow up”
  • Why 40% of women with college degrees will never marry
  • Why all those numbers are going up
Game has answers for all these questions, and the reason it has the answers is because game has no ideology to protect (politically-correct, religious, or otherwise). Game only cares about reality—about what actually works.

Game has gone from being simply an aid for young men to hookup, to an all encompassing model of American society and culture. Just as the reason you “dial” a phone is lost in history, a generation from now people will wonder why the study of how men and women interact within American culture is referred to as “game.” This is the definition I'm going to use for game:
The social science known as “game” is the study of the interaction between men and women within American culture.
Some will argue that we should ignore the information provided by game due to its origins. The modern legal system does this. If evidence in a court case is gathered incorrectly, the jury is not allowed to use that information to make a decision. We've all seen court cases where the verdict was wrong—so wrong that everyone in the courtroom knew it— because information was excluded from consideration. Willfully blinding ourselves in this way (to the information provided by game) would seem to be the height of legalism.

Remember how I opened with the scene from Ben-Hur, where Judah Ben-Hur stood on principle? The scene takes place around 35 AD.

In 70 AD the Romans burned Jerusalem to the ground. Judah Ben-Hur (had he been a real person) along with his wife, sister, children, and grandchildren would have been killed or enslaved. Of course, had he retained his Roman citizenship he could have used it to appeal to the Roman authorities (as Paul did in Acts) and saved himself and his family.

We live in a culture that is falling apart, and things are clearly getting worse. We should not make the mistake Judah Ben-Hur made of willfully refusing to avail ourselves of the help we so desperately need.
A grown man knows the world he lives in, and for the present, the world is American culture, and it is explained by game.

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