Angela Washko (US)


The Game: The Game, 2017
Playable game with sound (duration variable); single-channel projection (looped); installation


Many of us may recognise the chat-up lines and dating scenarios played out in The Game: The Game, from experiences of online chat rooms or socialising in bars. Washko’s dating simulation game stems from in-depth research into the seduction community and its behaviours.

The Game: The Game presents the practices of several prominent seduction coaches (otherwise known as pick-up artists, or PUAs). These PUAs attempt to seduce the player using signature techniques, taken verbatim, from their instruction books and video coaching materials.

At first sight, PUA language and aggressive behaviour may prompt disgust and outrage. But Washko questions whether practicing ‘the game’ is inherently wrong or whether it can be practiced in a way that simply levels the dating playing field in favour of those who are otherwise socially or physically disadvantaged. The Game: The Game invites us to explore the construction of social behaviours around dating, as well as the experience of being a woman navigating this complex terrain.

Angela Washko (b. 1986) is an artist, writer and facilitator based in Pittsburgh, USA. The musical score was composed by the band Xiu Xiu.

Courtesy of the artist.