The Game: The Game is a video game presenting the practices of several prominent seduction coaches (aka pick-up artists) through the format of a dating simulator. In the game these pick-up gurus attempt to seduce the player using their signature techniques taken verbatim from their instructional books and video materials. The game sets up the opportunity for players to explore the complexity of the construction of social behaviors around dating as well as the experience of being a femme-presenting individual navigating this complicated terrain. The Game: The Game is a continuation of BANGED, a two year-long visual art project during which Angela Washko interviewed a seduction guide author and manosphere figurehead, and tried to get in contact with his alleged sexual partners. After working on BANGED, the black and white ways in which this field has been portrayed through the media seemed too simple and unfair to all parties who encounter it and provoked this question: Is practicing “game” inherently wrong and dishonest or can it be practiced in a way that simply levels the dating playing field in favor of those who are otherwise socially or physically disadvantaged? By disguising the most notorious PUAs alongside game-less individuals and PUAs-in-training and placing the player into the often unsafe position of trying to distinguish between them all –Washko hopes to add levels of complexity to public conversations around both pick-up and feminism which have both found themselves most often presented in highly polarized, dichotomous positions in mainstream media.
The Game: The Game is accompanied by a musical score thoughtfully composed by Xiu Xiu.