- Part of...States of Play: Roleplay Reality
The Game: The Game, 2016
Playable game with installation comprising bar, stools and still images (cyanotypes)
Angela Washko is an artist, writer and facilitator devoted to creating new forums for discussions of feminism in the spaces hostile toward it.
The Game: The Game is an immersive installation and platform to experience the first chapter of a video game presenting the practices of several prominent seduction coaches (aka pick-up artists) through the format of a dating simulator. In the game these pick-up artists (PUAs) attempt to seduce the player using their signature techniques taken verbatim from their instructional books and video materials.
Players explore the complexity of the construction of social behaviours around dating as well as the experience of being a woman navigating this complicated terrain. After working on her previous project ‘BANGED’ (a year long interview project with a manosphere figurehead), the black and white ways in which this field has been portrayed seemed too simple and unfair to all parties who encounter it and provoked this question: Is practicing “game” inherently wrong and dishonest or can it be practice in a way that simply levels the dating playing field in favour of those who are otherwise socially or physically disadvantaged?
By disguising the most notorious PUAs alongside game-less individuals and PUAs-in-training and placing the player into the perspective of a woman forced to distinguish between them all, Washko hopes to add levels of complexity to public conversations around both pick-up and feminism, which have both found themselves most often presented in highly polarised, dichotomous positions in mainstream media.
Courtesy of the artist.