In the interests of equal time to our male readers, we’d like to point out this story where a female Gizmodo writer did not feel comfortable dating Magic the Gathering World Champion Jon Finkel after she met him via OK Cupid:
We met for a drink later that week. Jon was thin and tall, dressed in a hedge fund uniform with pale skin and pierced ears. We started talking about normal stuff—family, work, college. I told him my brother was a gamer.
And then he casually mentioned that he played Magic: The Gathering when he was younger. “Actually,” he paused. “I’m the world champion.” I laughed.
Oh that’s a funny joke! I thought. This guy is funny! But the earnest look on his face told me he wasn’t kidding.
It goes downhill from there.
Now, while we feel that taking a female date to see a play about serial killer/cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer on a first social outing is not exactly a cute and cuddly gesture — but it will definitely separate the wheat from the chaff. You know what you’re getting into. Speaking as someone whose idea of light entertainment is a SNAPPED! marathon, it wouldn’t faze us, but YMMV.
Our guess is that writer Alyssa Bereznak realized from this and other subtle signs that Mr. Finkel was not for her. But the way she blamed MTG SOLELY for the rejection — and put down someone who has achieved a lot in his hobby — irked many other people who write on the internet:
Then what really caught our attention was when she began to identify her date with links to his Wikipedia page and a YouTube video. (No. We will not be reposting those links.) For all we know his anonymous OKCupid dating life just became public to a major tech audience.
This story rubbed us the wrong way. It’s already bad enough to expose your quirks to another person that you’re attempting to date. Being vulnerable to a stranger is hard. Add to that, the anxiety of knowing that your identity could be exposed to tens of thousands of online readers. Why bother?
Writer Steve Marmel delivers a withering diss to Bereznak:
However, here’s you, openly mocking somebody who is the best in the world at something. Let me repeat that, because it’s important.
THE BEST IN THE WORLD AT SOMETHING.
Are you the best at the world at anything? I’m not. There are things I’m good at, things I hope I’m great at, things I hope I can be better at… but best in the world? No.
The writer of this piece is so vapid – so sure the stuff she’s nerdy about makes her cooler than the stuff this other person is nerdy about – that it’s okay to piss all over an ACTUAL PERSON who made the mistake of being kind to her on an online dating site.
Marmel surely speaks for a lot of male nerds who feel they are being judged by girls posing as “nerds” by claiming they like Star Wars or use a data phone. While true girl nerds — FRODO LIVES! — are still struggling to get a plaque in the Batcave, we don’t need these judgmental poseurs muddying the waters.
Finkel — who is so well known that he has his own Magic card — has surely parlayed this rejection into a lot of dates. That’s how things work on the internet, and he’s actually not a bad looking guy. So no one has really been hurt here. But surely Ms. Bereznak has learned that maybe a gadget blog called Gizmodo is not the place to make a blanket condemnation of Magic: the Gathering.
UPDATE I: Oh here’s a montage of Finkel in action, so you can see what you’re getting. Montage, montage, we’re headin’ for a montage….
UPDATE II: Oh yeah, I think Finkel is making out just fine, posting pictures of his cute cat, quoting Shakespeare on his Twitter and getting called hot by Felicia Day.
Id like to thank everyone for their messages, and Im sorry I cant reply to them all – especially all the date requests from cute nerdy girls
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.