Just when you thought that geeks had finally gotten over being considered unfit to date, a wicked betrayal comes along in a long knife of an article written for Gizmodo by Alyssa Bereznak. Bereznak, you see, is horrified – HORRIFIED – that the OKCupid online dating site connected her with Jon Finkel. Finkel is a high-ranking Magic: The Gathering professional player, successful enough to warrant his own Magic card, Shadowmage Infiltrator. According to the Wizards of the Coast web site, he is “simply one of the all-time greatest players the game of Magic has ever seen.”
But never mind all that, because Bereznak, a grad student at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and intern at Gizmodo, thinks Finkel is not worth dating because of his “geeky” credentials.
“Just like you’re obligated to mention you’re divorced or have a kid in your online profile, shouldn’t someone also be required to disclose any indisputably geeky world championship titles?”
Bereznak was kind enough to give Finkel another chance. It didn’t go well:
At dinner I got straight down to it. Did he still play? “Yes.” Strike one. How often? “I’m preparing for a tournament this weekend.” Strike two. Who did he hang out with? “I’ve met all my best friends through Magic.” Strike three. I smiled and nodded and listened. Eventually I even felt a little bit bad that I didn’t know shit about the game. Here was a guy who had dedicated a good chunk of his life to mastering Magic, on a date with a girl who can barely play Solitaire. This is what happens, I thought, when you leave things out of your online profile.
Bereznak comes to some conclusions about Finkel, and none of them good.
Mothers, warn your daughters! This could happen to you. You’ll think you’ve found a normal bearded guy with a job, only to end up sharing goat cheese with a guy who takes you to a one-man show based on Jeffrey Dahmer’s life story.
Bereznak has every right to not want to date a Magic: The Gathering champion. But her tone and very public attack on an individual whose biggest crime was revealing one of his accomplishments is despicable. Her article implies that geeky pursuits are not “normal,” that geeks are someone women should be “warned” about, and that Finkel was supposed to filter out “normal” dates by posting his achievement in his profile. What Bereznak left out is that Finkel also plays high-level poker tournaments and is a managing partner at the hedge fund Landscape Capital Management.
Bereznak, in essence, publicly humiliated her date for the sake of more hits to her article. Hope it was worth it.
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