The last few days have seen just about every gaming/geek related news outlet post about Alyssa Bereznak and her (now infamous) Gizmodo article.
Here is the quick and dirty version of the story:
Alyssa signed up for an OKCupid account and was matched up for a few dates with a hedge fund manager from New York. The two of them didn’t click right away (as is known to happen on many perfectly normal dates) so they were left having a somewhat aimless conversation. She mentioned at one point that her brother was a bit of a gamer. The hedge fund manager saw an opening to strike up conversation and mentioned that he was a bit of a gamer too. He went on to explain that he was a pretty avid Magic: The Gathering player. In fact, he was the 2000 World Champion. Alyssa didn’t quite believe him so she Googled “Jon Finkel” when she got home. It didn’t take long to confirm that he was telling the truth. She then proceeded to write this.
A lot of people have gone crazy and called her all sorts of names for being shallow and catty. I don’t really think that’s the case. In fact, I’d go so far as to bet that she isn’t shallow or catty at all.
Ms. Bereznak, my friends, is an opportunist.
Imagine yourself as a freelance writer for a pay per page view site like Gawker, Gizmodo, or (to be fair) The Examiner. You go out on an uneventful pair of dates with someone who happens to be a “niche celebrity.” The temptation would be there to write about it and try to get a little bit of cash from the keyword.
It is pretty clearly paying off for Alyssa right now. She has managed to bring forth the full fury of the geek nation. Her article has been linked to from just about everywhere (Heck, I’m doing it here!). She has her own Twitter hashtag: #notrightforAlyssa. The big man in charge of Magic: The Gathering, Mark Rosewater, even weighed in. A writer from Forbes.com reported yesterday that the article was sitting at 500,000 hits and even at something like .0025 cents per view that equates to $1250. That’s pretty good for a dozen paragraphs.
My only question for Alyssa, “Is it worth it?” I mean. I get that she was just trying to make a point. I also get that pissing off geeks can drive A LOT of traffic. But, is it worth making you this week’s Rebecca Black?
I don’t think we’ll ever really know her answer. (Feel free to tweet me about it if you like Alyssa. I’d love to chat.) What do you think CT? Would you do it?
Sound off in the comments!
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