Pick-up artists treat women as if they're shiny gold coins instead of human beings; ladies are rewards for players savvy enough to unlock the levels of "the game," not people with whom one might enjoy a mutually satisfying relationship. That's why gamemakers think dudes will pay up for a "Become a Pickup Artist" iPhone app.
"Practice in 8 of the most unexpected and effective pickup scenes and venues, from San Francisco to Paris," according to a press release from Chouquette Games introducing "Become a Pickup Artist" on iOS, which allows you to "test pickup techniques on over 20 girls, each with their own unique personality and style" for exciting "dating simulation gameplay with new skills, concepts, and awesome achievements to unlock." All this for only $2.99!
More background from the release:
Developed around pickup artist extraordinaire Nick Savoy’s legendary Love Systems method, players are cast as the unlucky in love “Luke” and learn how to attract and interact with gorgeous women by testing their dating skills against a virtual collection of flirty femmes. Follow Luke’s journey from average frustrated chump to charming casanova while learning the secrets of the world’s greatest ladies’ men to meet, interact, and form relationships in any social situation.
I downloaded the game (JOURNALISM) and soon found myself scanning a college campus looking for some chick named Cindy. It was very "Choose Your Own Adventure," stalker-style.
Cindy, whom I soon found, told me she was only a journalist because "she wanted to get Daddy off her back" (ah, yes, all parents hope their daughters succeed in the lucrative field of journalism) and that she only reads if she "doesn't have anything better to do." I was only allowed to say dumb things to her like, "I've just started an internship at a cool local company," but somehow I got her number. Fast forward to two years later, where I'm meeting my EX-girlfriend Cindy (what happened?!) and she tells me she's getting married to this horrible Australian bro whose "idea of a good time isn't a take-out and Office reruns." Burn. Noooooooo. Cindyyyy.
It turns out that this was all a prologue of sorts — how NOT to pick up girls (don't be boring, don't eat take-out) — and I was soon transported to a bar where master pick-up artist Derek Cajun promised to help me find the woman of my dreams. I will find her if I approach her with an offbeat story, such as "there were two girls fighting outside," pick mutual interests from a "comfort wheel" that helps me pretend to "understand her personality" and play stress games before I ask for her number. I picked up one girl and unlocked "storytelling" and "teasing" as skills before I quit, because I got the point.
Pick-up artistry appeals to people who aren't social superstars because it's comforting to be provided with rules and levels and games, to think that if you master tricks and hacks just like you did when you were obsessed with The Legend of Zelda, you'll feel good about yourself after you put down your console.
It's easy to brush these games (both real and virtual) aside as harmless, or even helpful, for guys that need guidance. But they don't teach men to listen to or try to develop a meaningful connection with the women they're trying to pick up, because pick-up artists are only concerned with boosting their own confidence by soliciting attention from women.
Programming men to ignore every aspect of a women's personality other than how she makes them feel about themselves leads to men who, as documented in our "Rapists Explain Themselves on Reddit" post, are so disconnected from reality that they don't even think to look a woman in the face to be sure she wants to have sex.
During the game, Derek Cajun told "me" that I wouldn't only get the girl of my dreams if I followed his leadership instead of being myself — I'd be a "better man and person." I think we can say with certainty that guys who download "Become a Pickup Artists" aren't on the way to becoming better men; they're just pathetic. And possibly predators, too.