PREVIOUS: REALITY SETS IN AND THE TURN TO SELF-IMPROVEMENT
From nerd to woman might seem like a large trip to make, but it isn't really, since effeminacy is precisely one of the key characteristics of nerdhood. All the nerds had to do, therefore, in order to understand women, was to abandon themselves completely to the considerable feminine dimensions of their personalities, and empathy would take care of the rest. After all, wasn't there a significant homoerotic dimension in the nerds' admiration of leather-jacket-wearing and tattoo-sporting "alpha" "bad boys"? Wasn't the breathless, gushing manner in which the nerds related and analyzed the "bad boys'" exploits in innumerable blog and forum posts and badly-written ebooks recognizably homoerotic in nature, since homosexuals are the only other type of person who respects and is attracted to "bad boys" besides women? ("We all want them", wrote Milo Yiannopoulos at some point.) Because of course real men had always viewed such characters with barely disguised contempt; go to every living statesman, military man, bussinesman, craftsman, or man of sciences and letters, and contemplate the opinions and values of all dead ones too, and if you find a single one who respects or ever respected "bad boys" call up the Guinness World Records because you've found something truly extraordinary that they'll be interested in. The only types of people who have ever respected such characters are women, homosexuals... and now PUAs; while all the rest of us know full well that there are teenagers who could beat the everliving snot out of "bad boy" icons such as James Dean. "Rebel without a cause", meanwhile, when properly understood, means "retard"; so if these people are neither physically strong, nor mentally, all they need is a wig and they might as well be women (look at a picture of Krauser with this idea in mind and I dare you to come back here and tell me I'm wrong). And it's worth pointing out that GLL—the only major PUA who can conveivably claim "alpha" or "sigma" status for himself without sending the rest of the planet's population in hysterics—never even once uses terms such as "alpha male" or "bad boy" in his entire website. He uses the far more accurate term "swag factor" to signify the same concept, meaning that vague aura of "coolness" that women find so attractive. He doesn't call it coolness, however, because he unconsciously realizes that real coolness and what women deem cool are not the same thing. Real coolness, after all, was Nikola Tesla creating lightning to order, but Tesla never had groupies, and hot girls don't even know about him. So girls' conception of coolness is a very different thing from the genuine kind (in some ways, almost its opposite), which is why GLL opted for the silly-sounding "swag factor" term, which brilliantly captures girls' inherently silly understanding of coolness. I am 100% certain that GLL didn't consciously pick this term due to the reason I just gave, by the way, but since he is, after all, the only major PUA who's not a nerd, and since he is therefore repulsed by the nerds' effeminate worldview and wants to steer as well clear of it as he can, he built his own terminology from scratch, and under the circumstances it shouldn't be surprising to find that it is immeasurably superior to the PUAs'.
But the showdown between the nerds versus GLL (or GLL vs. Krauser, since Krauser would at length be proclaimed the dominant nerd) would take some time to unfold. In 2008-2010, meanwhile, while self-improvement hysteria was gripping the PUA world, neither of them had quite entered the scene yet; Krauser's marriage was still limping along, while GLL was busy experimenting and studying under various PUAs. And here is where we at last arrive, for the first time, on the issue of the definition of game. Because a growing number of voices were starting to be heard across the PUA world proclaiming that self-improvement was all that mattered, and that all tricks and strategies—pick-up lines, openers, takeaways; even the sacred neg—were useless. The concept of "value" became the dominant concept, which, for women—the theory went—is essentially identical with physical beauty, while for men it is comprised of a number of factors, including looks, health, wealth, education, profession, social standing, etc. All a PUA had to do, according to this theory, in order to attract a girl, was to raise his value above hers—as far above as he could raise it—and "hypergamy" would take care of the rest. Hypergamy, of course—women's alleged desire to land a man whose value exceeded theirs—was kind of a bogus concept, or at least a superfluous one. It was borrowed from anthropology, where the concept "value" was meant in a strict social-status sense, and where therefore the idea of hypergamy is useful and makes sense, it being demonstrably true that for most of recorded history most men would gladly marry women below their social standing, as long as these women were sufficiently attractive, whereas for women the man's social standing mattered more and they would therefore generally aim for the highest status man they could reasonably hope to attain. But that was before sexual liberation, universal suffrage and "equality", and certainly well before the PUAs; that's why gigolos are possible today, and poor good-looking guys can easily marry into wealthy families, something which would have been nigh-inconceivable a mere couple of centuries ago. And anyway, as aforesaid, the anthropological concept of feminine value (=social standing) is not the same with the PUAs' (=physical beauty, or in the man's case, in modern society, "swag factor"), so hypergamy doesn't mean the same thing in the two disciplines. The anthropologists' version is sound but outdated, while the PUAs'... means what exactly? That people want to attract the best sexual partners that they can according to each person's individual criteria? Then men are "hypergamous" too because they'd all dump their girlfriends and wives in an instant if Kate Upton called them up to ask them out, just as women would dump their boyfriends and husbands if Brad Pitt came calling. The truth was that for the nerdy, resentful PUAs "hypergamy" signified all the times they had been dumped by their girlfriends for better guys, and since they themselves had never dumped anyone, they naturally concluded that "hypergamy"=dumping was a uniquely feminine quality and therefore one on which the nerds' long pent-up resentment could be directed and unleashed. And that's how hypergamy came to join feminism as unholy scarecrow and scapegoat across the PUA world, with innumerable blog and forum posts being scribbled against it on a daily basis as a kind of exorcism ritual, until at last the poor anthropologists' term had been debased to such an extent that Krauser could walk into a Russian club in 2014, observe girls checking out guys despite being in the company of their boyfriends, and denounce this perfectly natural behavior as "hypergamy in action"—in which case men, who demonstrably do approximately a billion times more checking out than even the sluttiest of women, would be about a billion times more "hypergamous" than them. But Krauser didn't like the sound of this fact when I pointed it out to him in his blog post, so he shut his stupid face up and proceeded to lock the comments... (GLL meanwhile, as far as I am aware, has never once touched the concept, what with him being too "hypergamous" himself—far more "hypergamous" than any girl he's ever banged and dumped—to have the time for it).
"Hypergamy" aside, however, it was clear that the PUAs' value-theory and the associated self-improvement creed were basically sound, so the number one contentious issue on cutting-edge PUA blogs towards the end of the decade became precisely how, and in what ways, the PUAs were to improve themselves. And though the stupid "bad boy" ideal was generally dominant, there were still plenty of reasonable voices that advocated a kind of renaissance ideal, entreating the nerds to engage in sports, travel, study and the arts and so on—even in dancing and cooking—in order to become deeper and more multifaceted, more well-rounded men, and thus more interesting and attractive to women; with the ideal type this time being, not a James Dean-type character, but The Most Interesting Man In The World (TMIMITW) as seen in Dos Equis beer commercials.
It was clear by now in what way PUA theory had evolved since Mystery's day. Because Mystery too had been saying that women's attraction triggers were many and varied, and included looks, wealth, social standing and so on; the difference, however, was that Mystery advocated the creation of stories—fake stories—through which the player's prowess in all these categories could be demonstrated to his targets, whereas the new PUAs were telling their students to really become competent in all these categories, and then they wouldn't have to make up stories: they could just tell the truth and women would become naturally attracted to them. "Bad boys" aside, therefore, the two schools of thought largely agreed on what women wanted, and only differed on how players could give it to them: with the new school advocating self-improvement, while the old school championed deception. In addition, recognizing that self-improvement was a long-term goal and that people couldn't be reasonably expected to swear completely off sexual and romantic relationships until they had attained it, the new school advocated a halfway stage dubbed "fake it till you make it" in which players would employ deception to a limited extent—as limited as possible—while working towards their self-improvement goals and gradually phasing out deception as they attained them. At any rate the new school was generally convinced that genuine value trumped deception any day of the week, and thus it was value, and value alone, that should be the master player's ultimate goal. But what all this implied was that there's no such thing as "game", since if ultimate game is self-improvement, the concept of "game" was superfluous since there already existed a wealth of self-improvement authors and literature that utterly trumped anything the PUAs had ever scribbled on the subject, thus implying that PUA literature had been rubbish all along and amounted to little more than a misunderstanding.
Was "game" indeed a superfluous concept and PUA theory a misunderstanding? Countless ebook chapters and blog and forum posts would be furiously scribbled to fiercely argue this point, and very few PUAs would ever be able to make up their minds on it one way or another, and offer a coherent answer; but for two people, at least, the answer was obvious. On the one corner stood GLL who, as the most extreme representative of the self-improvement philosophy—who in his relentless, obsessive quest for it had turned himself into a kind of guinea pig for all types of dubious self-improvement techniques—from steroid-enhanced body-building to anxiolytic drugs and penile enlargement methods—had no respect for game and its gurus, whom he would again and again ridicule as "PUA wizards", and had developed a type of ultra-minimalist "game" that essentially amounted to looking as good as possible and then going up to the girl and saying "what's up"; while, on the other corner, stood Krauser, the most respected of the nerdy "bad boy" PUAs, for whom game did not merely exist but was a towering theoretical discipline deserving of university chairs and thick academic textbooks and constant research (are you seeing the gamma yet?) and who denigrated the idea that anything GLL did could be described as "game". Self-improvement, for Krauser, was certainly useful (although he himself didn't actually practice it, nota bene), but game was something far above and beyond that. Good-looking guy game was therefore not game at all and, as Roosh would later sarcastically quip while summarizing Krauser's views in the thread in which he banned him from his forum, "If you have more than ten hairs on your head you're not spitting true game". What Krauser seemed to be saying, amazingly, was that ugliness (or, more generally, low value) was a prerequisite for "true game"—or at least for Krauser's version of it—but no one seemed smart enough to grasp this, least of all Krauser himself, and it would be some time before even I would see the truth in it and fully understand what it meant, and what it implied. For the moment, at any rate, the PUA world had reached a stalemate, and both sides gave up the debate and barricaded themselves in their respective blogs and forums to hone and refine their respective theories and techniques—without, however, ever touching on the problem again. Because the problem had simply become too complex for regular guys like the PUAs to solve, with their average intelligences and average educations and average experiences, so just as the "Can games be art?" debate had ground to a halt half a decade earlier in the videogame world, and the participants had given up on ever attaining a consensus—or even anything approaching a coherent answer—thereafter nipping all new attempts at a discussion in the bud as pointless or, even worse, as "trolling"; so too occurred in the PUA world once it had reached the depth and sophistication beyond which it is impossible to go without recourse to rigorous definitions and first principles. The problem, in other words, had become at last philosophical—it had attained, that is to say, the kind of complexity which only genius can deal with; and so the specialists in the discipline finally shut up—and in their colorful and highly amusing way shut each other up—until a genius had been found who would take an interest in the problem and come around and neatly solve it for them. And that's where I entered the picture.
NEXT: ENTER THE OVERMAN