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The Pickup Artists: Coming Soon to a TV Near You

Watch out, girls of Southern California. If these craigslist ads are any indication, you are about to get Gamed.

Gamed as in The Game, Neil Strauss' tale of transforming from dateless chump to serious stud after going undercover with a secret society of "pick-up artists." The most revered pick-up artist (or "PUA" as they're known), named "Mystery," pitched a pilot to VH1 a while back, and now, the network appears to be forging ahead with casting calls in LA and San Diego.

VH1 is looking for guys who are nice but have trouble asking girls out; the more socially awkward and conversationally stunted, the better. The idea is that after learning the ropes at the hand of skilled PUAs, they'll be unleashed on the world, better able to bed the women of their choosing. To learn about some of the rules of the Game,

As Strauss explains in an Esquire story about using the Game's "technique" on Britney Spears:

There is a simple structure most women must be led through. First, they must be opened; the ice must be broken in a way that doesn't make them uncomfortable. Next, a pickup artist needs to demonstrate higher value, to show why he stands out from all the other men a woman has the option of dating. Once she's convinced, he must build rapport and create a sense of emotional connection. Only then, at least if he's playing solid game, is it time to make a physical connection.

What? Form an emotional connection before making out? How revolutionary! Sure, it works — until the girls figure out they're being totally played. And I know from experience that it doesn't take long. One of my favorite Game-endorsed opening lines is "So this is going to sound kind of crazy, but my friend wants to buy a wallaby." Yeah, no girl's going to suspect funny business with that approach. The Village Voice even ran a story that admitted girls were catching on — OK, so the writer was later fired for making up the ending, but I'll believe the rest of it. Also, I'd think the gigantic camera crew following the hapless guys around might be yet another warning sign.

On the other hand, I would much rather watch this show than "Surreal Life Fame Games." So who knows? Maybe they're onto something.

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