I recently finished reading Rollo’s most recent book – The Player’s Handbook – and I’m here to give a short review today.
But first, I should get what I guess will be the most important thing out of the way (for some people): this is a review of his book, not Rollo himself, and so I’m not going to be talking about any other podcasts, channels, projects, etc that he’s involved with. I want to review whether this book is useful for people in this community. I’ve always recommended the Rational Male series in my recommended reading and so I want to see if I’d do the same for this entry.
The next point – and we start the review here – is that this book is not a step-by-step guide of meet to lay. It’s more a list of different phenomena you can expect from women and what is the correct way of dealing with them and why. I get that it’s called “The Player’s Handbook” but perhaps it should have been called “The Game Handbook” or somesuch.
This is an important point: that it’s all about dealing with women not just in pick-up but throughout your life, whether that is indeed because you’re trying to lay them or if they’re a friend or colleague. That leads me to another objection which I’m sure a lot of guys are thinking right now: “but Rollo’s not a player!” You’re right, he’s not a player at the moment, but he was back in his younger life and so he has lots of experience there, plus, as stated earlier, this isn’t just about pick-up.
As an aside, it’s interesting to me how some guys critique Rollo for being married for decades and then writing a book about Game. These are the same guys who might say that “real Game” is retention and keeping a girl around. It’s a bit hypocritical if you ask me…
Anyway, the book is split up into four sections:
1. Rules of Engagement
This section highlights the three parts of self-improvement which men focus on and where Game and the Red Pill fit into that, before going into how having Game is a prerequisite because of how often you will need to use it.
There is a somewhat cheesy line that Rollo uses throughout the book – “I am the Game” – but he is right in that regard: you shouldn’t expect women to act in one way in one domain but then another in a different one. You need to take on Game principles and use them throughout your life. Make those behaviours autopilot.
Rollo also goes into how The Red Pill as a brand or meme has been co opted by various internet marketers. He makes a great point in ignoring the “build a better beta” influencers who are simply blue pill. They care more about women’s approval than helping you to succeed.
2. Game Tactics
This section summarises various Game principles/behaviours which you use on a day-to-day level such as amused mastery, command presence, dread and dominance as well as concepts such as “Alpha Fucks/Beta Bucks” and hypergamy. To be honest, this section reads like an update on the first Rational Male book but it was nice to see it condensed into one section and would be a useful go-to for a guy who was new to the community.
3. Game Dynamics
This section covers more macro level concepts such as where it is appropriate to approach, by who and what is considered creeping. I liked this section in particular because it goes against what a lot of Manosphere commentators say, which is “approach anywhere and everywhere and often.” I’m a big proponent of realistic expectations and I think it’s important that guys don’t come into this community thinking that Game will be the solution to all their problems and give them a kind of superpower.
4. Game Maintenance
Lastly, this section covers things to be aware of while interacting with women in the longer term. The chapter on “Zeroing Out” is especially good and goes into how many guys live a Blue Pill life with its attached principles, before one day realising that what they built wasn’t worth anything.
If you’re a beginner or an intermediate Daygamer then I recommend this book. It’s a great encyclopaedia of Game principles and things to be aware of in your journey. If you’re advanced then you don’t need to; you might like picking it up because it’s cheap and might remind you of some stuff you’ve forgotten. Either way, this will be on my recommended reading list from now on.
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