When game is smooth and seamless, it’s no longer game — it’s communication. But what about game that’s anything but seamless? Game that’s cheesy and cliché? Game that shouldn’t even work?
Cheesy game begins with a nice piece of ripe, low hanging fruit. That lonely girl slowly walking with a map and camera. The same one who’s stopping every few minutes to take pictures of some dirty building or a “historical” street covered with dog shit.
Tourists. Female tourists. Lone female tourists.
It all started in Barcelona. One night, after striking out in one of the city’s clubs, I decided that instead of nursing a hangover in my bed, I would spend the day wondering aimlessly around the city.
The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and no matter where you went, you couldn’t ignore the flock of tourists who’ve descended upon the city like hungry hawks.
I had rented a small apartment in a neighborhood called Barceloneta, not far from the beach. I also crafted the perfect strategy: I would act lost and ask tourists where my own neighborhood was.
“Excuse me, do you know this neighborhood called ‘Bar-ce-lo-neta’,” I asked my first victim, a girl in her twenties, wearing a black leather jacket and tight-fitted jeans. I asked in Spanish with my signature Latin American accent, a bizarre mix of Mexican and Caribbean.
She stopped, looking confused. The headphones came off.
I repeated myself.
“Sorry, I don’t speak Spanish,” she answered.
Hah. Really? No kidding!
American with a Californian accent. Probably somewhere south like Los Angeles or San Diego. Hmm, I used to live in California…
She bites. Easy. Way too easy. We decide to get coffee. Later we get a drink. Then I take her to a nice spot on the beach — in Barceloneta. Then we go back to my place for “a glass of wine” — in Barceloneta. Then… well, you know the rest.
Not once does she realize that I actually live in the exact area, an area that not long ago I had solicited her help in locating…
People are so naïve.
Once firmly in the crosshairs of gringo hunters abroad, I became a gringo hunter myself. I spent my days wondering the streets of this port city in search for easy pickings and low hanging fruit. I didn’t want to work to get laid. I wanted game to be as easy as possible. No more posh clubs. No more hangovers.
Not all attempts succeeded. Most didn’t. Sometimes they ran off like a flock of scared pigeons. Sometimes they flaked. But for such a low capital investment, I didn’t have to succeed all that often for it to be a worthwhile endeavor.
And throughout this whole experience not once did I stop wandering: are people that naive? Surely they will get suspicious why a foreigner is asking such obvious looking tourists for directions, and then, seeing that she’s a tourist, doesn’t go and ask other people, but instead becomes in a good mood and invites her for coffee!
But not one did. Not one was skeptical. Not one even remotely accused me of gaming. No eyes were rolled. They either rejected me outright or entertained my innocent offers. Innocent proposals that gradually became increasingly devilish.
People are so naïve.
I spent days mulling over that thought. Sometimes I even repeated it out loud as I wondered around looking for my next target.
Then, one day, while walking home from the metro station, I had an epiphany. Maybe I’m the naive one here. Maybe by walking around with a map and a big camera, they’re trying to bait me to talk to them. It’s almost like carrying a huge sign: come and talk to me; I’m ovulating and collecting sperm from an exotic foreigner — come and give it to me!
I felt like Isaac Newton after getting hit by an apple.
Maybe that’s the real paradox of game: knowing whether you’re gaming someone or being gamed yourself.
You read, write, work, work out, learn foreign languages, travel to exotic destinations, rent apartments, basically do everything you can to be the best you can be, only to approach some easy target like a lonely female tourist whose sole purpose in visiting some exotic land is – not to take pictures of pictures of some dirty buildings or “historical” streets covered with dog shit – but to be noticed; to be approached; to be taken on an adventure; to have her brains fucked by an exotic foreigner and then have a story to tell her jealous friends back home.
And you do all that so you can brag about the “difficult” approach or an “improbable” conquest to your friends the very next day over breakfast consisting of organic milk and corn flakes with a happy green rooster on the cover.
Who was it that really just got gamed?
Maybe that’s the whole point. Or maybe, just maybe, people are just too naïve.BTW, have you seen my new Facebook page? Click here to check it out, and click Like :)
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