During her talk “Tactical Embodiment,” artist and activist Angela Washko will present several different strategies for performing, participating in and transforming online environments that are especially hostile toward women. She will introduce her long-term performative intervention “The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft” alongside several interventions, interviews, performances, written works and video games works she has created with the manosphere and online men’s seduction communities. In addition to walking the audience through her research, Washko will screen excerpts from her interview with a seduction coach who has been dubbed “The Web’s Most Infamous Misogynist” and highlight instructional DVDs, books, and hidden-camera videos created by a community of pick-up artists who teach men how to interact with and seduce women. The talk will close with an audience-participation based performative play-through of her most recent project “The Game: The Game,” a dating simulator video game presenting the practices of several infamous pick-up artists.
“The Game: The Game” is 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 gurus attempt to seduce the player using their signature techniques taken verbatim from their instructional books and video materials. The game sets up the opportunity for players to explore the complexity of the construction of social behaviors around dating as well as the experience of being a femme-presenting individual navigating this complicated terrain.