Macquarie University
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The gamer and "The Game": pick-up artists from the perspective of game studies

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posted on 2022-03-28, 12:17 authored by Adrian Chen
This thesis advances the notion if a 'gamer mode', and argues it to be observable outside of videogame contexts. This is demonstrated via an analysis of online pick-up artist forums, comparing the attitudes and behaviours of those groups to the criteria enumerated in Juul's (2005) 'classic game model'. The gamer mode of engagement is characterised by the perception of traditional game-like constructs (Frank, 2012). These include rulesets, adversaries, win-states, and other features that make the mode identifiable by resemblance to the player ideal of ludological game criteria. Such perspectives are then shown to be exemplified by pick-up artists; groups of men whose description of their practice as 'The Game' is suggestive of an operative gamer mode. It is pertinent to this discussion that pick-up artistry is highly gendered. The practice consists of strategies intended to effectively manipulate women into sexual situations. This aspect is examined through conceptualisations of gaming as masculinised (Fron, Fullerton, Morie, & Pearce, 2007), contributing to explanation of discrepancies between men and women in identification as a gamer (Shaw, 2012). The radical possibilities of pick-ups are also discussed in terms of the gamer mode. Following Connell's (1995) work on contemporary masculinities, I analyse how pick-up artists' responses to the expression of genuine male anxieties. Ultimately however, I conclude that pick-up lapses into leveraging of existing hegemonies, and that this occurs where it accords with the gamer mode. The gamer mode is thus argued not only to be observable, but also to facilitate a compliance with dominant social structures.


Table of Contents

Summary -- Introduction -- Chapter 1. Gamers and gaming -- Chapter 2. Pick-up artists -- Chapter 3. The gamer mode in pick-up artist forums -- Conclusion -- References.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 56-64

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Margie Borschke


Copyright Adrian Chen 2016. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (64 pages)

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