I agree with nearly all of your post except for the part that looks don't matter to most women. Looks matter very much to a lot of these women. This is why the top 80% of attractive women are all trying to date the top 20% of attractive men.
Just look at the dating apps. It's all based on looks. When it comes to choosing who to date, women have become as superficial as teen-aged boys. Social status does play a considerable part, but not as much as looks.
You're right that women are swiping based on looks, but few of them will meet a single one of the matches.
If you are top 10% of looks, you message the girls, and most won't even read the message, never mind reply.
One girl showed me one of her accounts once. I'd say she was marginally above average and she had 100s of unread messages.
A guy at 10% for looks wouldn't get 10% of those messages.
If they do reply, chances are they won't reply to your reply.
Very often they won't reply to any question you ask them. They just reply something like, "Hi, how are you?"
They are more interested in whoever is at the top of their immediate social circle.
And it's likely not being able to attract the top of their social circle is one of the reasons they go on apps. That, or they are looking to branch above their social circle.
The data posted in one of these threads, quite clearly showed that modern women's behaviour is to eventually settle for someone their level, but this is taking increasingly longer to get to.
I've noted before that things were different in the 50-80s. Not that it's ideal (but this is the topic), women would quite indiscriminately date guys based on the earlier four attributes I mentioned, or something else:
Joey has a nice car.
Bill is really climbing high at the local newspaper.
Steve is such a dream boat...
Many countries around the world are still in this mode.
It's not uncommon to find something like an attractive 22 yo Armenian girl married to a fairly slubish, uncharasmatic 30yo guy, because he is fairly wealthy. You're not really going to find many matches when the main reason the girls has chosen the guy is looks unless the race card is in play.
According to the rubric someone came up with to measure attractiveness from Tinder matches, I am in the top several percent. On the old HotOrNot site they gave you a percentile and I was somewhere in the top 90+%. I'm still going to struggle to get anywhere near my level of attractiveness to meet me on an app. The point at which it gets easier is the point where I have zero interest in them. And even then, they could barely rustle up any interest.
When I've been in various other countries on the other hand, women will just show interest. That is precisely just what they don't show in the West - interest.
Game, IMO, was a tool to methodically try and maxamise interest. Largely by lies or tricks. Primarily it is to mimic attributes of social status, without actually really having any.