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Having Game vs Being Masculine

April 5, 2012

[IBF readers expecting something by Bill Powell: the post you want is here.]

At Complementarian Loners, 7man posted a old and delightfully humourous duet between Rose Lee and Joe Maphis (YT). Then he added this strange comment:

The amount of Game truth shown in this video always make me smile. And Rose Lee appears to be a woman worth taming and her shit tests are endearing.

Manosphere writers are always describing any kind of positive male-female interaction in terms of ‘game.’ This is confused, and also a slander against the many such interactions which are natural and uncalculated.

Conceptually, game is a like a skill or a technique. Skills and techniques are things people can learn and train at. They are essentially different from character traits. As Aristotle pointed out, techniques can be abused, but virtues can’t. In other words, once you learn a skill you can, on the whole, use it for different purposes or even choose not to use it at all. Character traits aren’t like that. So game may allow a man to mimic appealing masculine traits, but it isn’t the same thing as possessing those traits. Various teachers of game implicitly acknowledge this by saying that they are offering tools that can be used for quite different purposes—for example, either for picking up women at clubs, or alternatively for maintaining a marriage.

A man who must employ techniques for manliness is, by definition, a man who lacks those traits. Game is about manipulation, the way all techniques are about manipulation (of something or other). But manliness is a state of character. So don’t say that people are using game unless you mean to say that they *lack* the masculine virtues in question.

Note for clarification: this is a conceptual point. It’s not a criticism of game, though it is a criticism of some of the claims made for game.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2012 6:13 pm

    I don’t think 7man meant that Joe Maphis was using Game per se, but that Game articulates certain truths that one can observe in such exchanges. Furthermore, once a skill has been learned and internalised, as skills of masculinity once were learned by being passed down by fathers or some male elder, one can be said to own that skill much like one who practices a musical instrument in time becomes a musician.

    • April 7, 2012 3:27 pm

      I’m sure he did mean to say that, and he wish he had.

      I certainly agree about the possibility of internalizing skills, too. I also didn’t mean to suggest that no interaction between skill and personality is possible. Note also, though, that if you internalize whatever you do to mimic masculinity, the result will not necessarily be masculinity.

  2. will permalink
    April 6, 2012 5:01 am

    When you do something often enough it becomes you.

    • April 7, 2012 3:31 pm

      Of course that’s also true. What is it exactly that you become, though? If you read a thousand girls’ palms in the course of learning how to ‘demonstrate higher value, and as a result reading palms becomes second-nature, does that mean you actually have higher value or are actually charismatic? No, it doesn’t.

      • April 7, 2012 3:59 pm

        “We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

        – Aristotle

  3. April 6, 2012 1:34 pm

    Ferd responded to a similar contention from Andy Nowicki, here.

    • April 7, 2012 3:33 pm

      I’ll have to take a look at that whole debate before long. But here I’m just making a conceptual point. This isn’t even a criticism of game.

  4. billpowell7147 permalink
    April 7, 2012 3:17 pm

    Thanks Johann, Ferd has a habit from time to time to get in a hurry. Sometimes this happens but then again it exposed me to your site. I like your site, it’s cool and I’m going to add you to my blogroll.

  5. dulantha1975 permalink
    April 8, 2012 8:34 am

    Masculinity is the fact behind the skills of a man.

  6. April 8, 2012 4:04 pm

    Mimicking is what game is all about. They even promote that. A lot of gamers, I suspect, are not very masculine. And they probably have faux-hawks. I know that is cool now, but it is a douchy cut. Maybe I am just too old.


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