Strauss learns habits that, as he sees it, are often basic—and should have been taught to him by society in the first place.The book then narrates the journey of how Strauss goes through the stages of becoming a pickup artist (a description of the members of the community) and gains the pseudonym "Style".As he becomes more and more involved in the romantic community, Strauss attends a bootcamp conducted by a man identified only as "Mystery".The bootcamp consists of Strauss and other participants approaching women, and then Mystery and his counterpart, Sinn, giving them corrective advice on their behaviors, body language, and what to say.In its original published hardcover format, the book was covered in black leather and bookmarked with red satin, similar to some printings of the Bible.Despite the reputation that The Game has gained as an exposé on the seduction community, it was primarily written as an autobiographical work.Strauss advocates various methods, mostly from the point of view of heterosexual men.
Intrigued by the subculture, he starts participating in the online discussion groups, mainly out of frustration with his own romantic life.
He also uses "false time constraints" (a reason that the conversation could end very soon) to put the woman of interest in a situation where she must convince the man she is interesting, discusses how to very slowly increase the amount of physical contact, and more.
Strauss tells the story of his success, the spreading of the romantic community itself, and his life at "Project Hollywood", a high-end mansion and a lifestyle plan shared by Strauss, Mystery, Playboy, Papa, Tyler Durden, Herbal, and other members of the seduction community.
Strauss mentions his experiments with sleeping habits, personal grooming tips, and encounters with celebrities such as Scott Baio, Tom Cruise, Andy Dick, Paris Hilton, Courtney Love, Dennis Rodman, and Britney Spears.
Neil Strauss was quoted in a review by Steven Poole in The Guardian as saying, "A side effect of sarging (socializing with the intent of finding and seducing a woman) is that it can lower one's opinion of the opposite sex", though the reviewer noted, "And yet, as he has described it, the inverse is true: a low opinion of the opposite sex is a prerequisite for sarging." Strauss was also quoted as saying, "The point was women; the result was men.