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Jon Finkel Dodged a Bullet

I just read this article by Alyssa Bereznak on Gizmodo (and cross-posted to Jezebel, Gawker’s lady site), in which she describes an OK Cupid date she went on with a World Champion Magic: the Gathering player. That sounds like a great article, right? That sounds like a really interesting date! Too bad Bereznak is, according to the intro to the piece, mean and shallow.

On their first date, Bereznak discovered that Jon Finkel played Magic: The Gathering, when he casually mentioned it in response to her saying that her brother is a gamer. She Googled him when she got home and found that he’s a really big deal. Despite the fact that she found this repulsive, she arranged a second date, where she quizzed him and found that he still plays and he made friends through playing the game. Appropriately horrified, she then felt compelled to post her story to a tech blog, where she linked to his Wikipedia page so everyone could have a good laugh I guess?

According to the comments on the article, I’m not the only one whose brain exploded upon reading it. After all, it’s not easy fighting to destroy the damaging stereotype that women are shallow bitches who not only won’t date nerdy men but also laugh at what dorks they are behind their backs. That stereotype feeds into the Nice Guy syndrome that infects guys who come to the conclusion that all women only want to date stupid jerks.

So god damn it, let’s get something straight: there are many, many women, myself included, who engage in geeky activities. There are many, many more women who are open-minded and supportive of their partners engaging in geeky activities that they themselves have no interest in.

When I traveled to New Zealand last year, I got to meet a few of the cool people who work at Weta Workshop. They commented that I’m geekier in person than I come across on The Skeptics’ Guide. I explained that SGU needs a non-geeky voice sometimes to remind the guys that not everyone cares about what episode of Star Trek most closely predicted the most recent technological breakthrough. So, there are times when I deliberately downplay my own geekiness in order to improve the show’s flow and up the comedy.

But screw it, I gotta get this out there at least as some kind of anecdote to combat Bereznak’s idiocy: I enjoy some things that some people think are geeky, and every partner I’ve ever been with has been geeky in some way. I played Magic: The Gathering in high school (white/green deck) with a girl friend, and I currently play Rift as a level 27 bladedancer* (I haven’t been playing for long, though). I played the trumpet for 10 years or so. I was in the marching band and there were only about a dozen of us because it was a small high school and the band was deeply uncool. I was a magician and a juggler. I’ve seen every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Twice. I love Deep Space Nine.

This is not an attempt to pretend I’m geekier than thou – only to point out that I am a woman, I’m open to geeky interests, and I am not a unicorn. There are plenty more people like me.

OK, I feel a little better.

Look, I did the online dating thing for awhile a few years ago, and sure, you meet a lot of people you don’t click with. And yeah, some dates turn into disasters that we can all laugh at later. But unless your date did something completely over-the-top inappropriate, there’s zero reason to name and (attempt to) shame him.

As it is, I’m pretty sure that Bereznak is the one who is embarrassed right now, though she’ll probably be able to work through it thanks to the check she’ll get from all those blog hits. Finkel is probably swimming in date requests right now. After all, who wouldn’t want to date a world champion game player who is modest enough not to talk about it incessantly and who also plays poker, manages a hedge fund, and takes a first date to see a play about Jeffrey Dahmer’s life? He sounds fucking awesome and I hope that one of you fine single ladies who reads this Tweets him (@JonnyMagic00) and scores a date.

Even if it doesn’t work out, maybe Gawker will pay you to write an article about it later.

*Edit 8/30/11 11:30am: Level 29 now.

Edit 8/30/11 7:30am: First, Finkel has Tweeted his “side,” and it’s clear that he’s being incredibly kind:

Thanks for all the support internet. People want “my side” but it was really a complete non event. Go out on a date that’s kinda blah.

Next day the girl tweets me about what shes reading about me, my reply is merely a prophetic, “Remember to use your powers only for good”

She then texts me about serial killer dreams and I dont reply because I didnt think we had much chemistry. A couple days later I’m home

and I’m a bit bored and I know she works right by me and seemed like the sort of girl I should like so I text her about grabbing a bite

Since I know she works around the corner. An hour later we meet up and it quickly becomes clear I’m bored, she’s bored(I assume)

But its raining heavily out.Eventually I suggest we head out anyways and luckily I find a cab. We go our separate ways and never speak again

At that point I just thought she was a nice girl, which I still mostly think. God knows we’ve all made poor decisions in our lives.

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

To be honest the article doesnt really say anything bad except that she doesnt like guys who like magic?

The only thing I really quibble with it “hedge fund uniform” – I’m not sure what that is, but I doubt it includes jeans and boots.

@Jonnymagic00 This should read ‘texts’, not tweets #freudianslip

Meanwhile Harry is demanding more of my attention. He doesn’t understand how important the Internet is. yfrog.com/j217778429j

He is one fine looking cat though. Hide your kitty daughters! yfrog.com/mfqbevj

Also, someone in the comments below linked to the Australian version of Gizmodo, which I didn’t know existed. There, I found an even worse version of Bereznak’s post, which includes gems like:

This is what happens, I thought, when you lie in your online profile. I was lured on a date thinking I’d met a normal finance guy, only to realise he was a champion dweeb in hedge funder’s clothing.

And

But if everyone stopped lying in their profiles, maybe there also wouldn’t be quite as many OKCupid horror stories to tell.

She’s even worse than I originally thought, calling him a “dweeb” and outright accusing him of lying because he obviously considers that there are more important facets of his character than anything involving Magic: the Gathering. And she ends with this:

Also, for all you world famous nerds out there: Don’t go after two Gawker Media employees and not expect to have a post written about you. We live for this kind of stuff.

I have no words.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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81 Comments

  1. August 30, 2011 at 12:12 am —

    To tell the truth, I can’t remember how long it has been since I’ve been in a gaming group that did not have at least 1 female in it. They are frequently, but not always, Significant Other to someone in the group, but not all of them are “here because that’s where the boyfriend is”, but are independently geeky on their own terms. I have a friend who I regularly argue comics with… she’s a geek in her own right, deciding that academia sucked with an English Masters, so she turned around and got one in accounting.

    Guy geeks tend to be louder about it, certainly, but guys tend to be louder about damn near everything.

  2. August 30, 2011 at 12:15 am —

    Addendum: I really hope that she goes out with someone, likes them, and they say “What, you’re THAT Alyssa? Oh, fuck no.”

    But I have a vindictive streak that I try not to indulge, and just hope the universe will indulge for me.

  3. August 30, 2011 at 12:22 am —

    This rant makes me deeply happy. Thanks so much.

  4. August 30, 2011 at 12:43 am —

    There’s so much about her ‘article’ that I would also like to rant about that I don’t even know where to start. I just don’t understand how someone could write that, how they could actually take the time to take all those thoughts and put them into words and type them out without thinking “Wow, I’m kind of shallow. And an asshole.” Except she did think that! She even mentions that in the last paragraph (and possibly the first? I’m not sure if she wrote that part in the italics). And then she just goes ahead and publishes it anyways. To Gizmodo, a tech blog with a significant nerd following that probably has a pretty significant number of Magic players cause there’s going to be some overlap in those two crowds. And it’s crossposted to Jezebel. Which might, for some crazy reason, have an audience that doesn’t really appreciate the whole “women are shallow bitches who not only won’t date nerdy men but also laugh at what dorks they are behind their backs” stereotype.

  5. August 30, 2011 at 12:51 am —

    I am a geek. My very non-geek gal still loves me after 10 years. I am a happy geek. My gal would be horrified by Alyssa’s actions, sounds like she has some serious growing up to do.

  6. August 30, 2011 at 1:14 am —

    Glad I’m not the only one to have watched every Buffy twice.

  7. August 30, 2011 at 1:29 am —

    This girl doesn’t realize how utterly stupid she is. Intelligence is an aphrodisiac. I’m lucky to have been solidly together with my geek-mate for almost fourteen years now. We dig sci-fi, anime, science, European board games, and WoW, although he sometimes complains that I game more than he does. I could never trade him for anyone or anything else in the world, and I could never understand why any girl would.

    “[. . .]that judging people on shallow stuff is human nature[. . .]”
    She has a very sad and lonely worldview. It would be in her best interest, and that of the rest of humanity, if she ceased all future social interaction until her frontal lobes are fully developed and functioning.

  8. August 30, 2011 at 5:40 am —

    I’m confused. Is admitting that you’ve only watched every episode of Buffy twice supposed to increase your geek cred?

    • August 30, 2011 at 6:19 am —

      Yeah, I wondered about that too. But I guess it’s OK if Rebecca doesn’t really love Buffy all that much…
      :-)

      • August 30, 2011 at 6:55 am —

        Easy now, folks. I have watched all episodes of Buffy exactly zero times. That doesn’t mean I’m not a geek.

        Does it?

        Well… At least none of my closer friends would ever dispute my geek cred.

        I have also never watched a complete series of Star Trek. They’re just too long. And too episodic…

        Why are you looking at me like that?

        • August 30, 2011 at 8:03 am —

          Get him!

          • August 30, 2011 at 9:04 am

            No! Please! Wait! I was only trying to help!
            Look, I’ve been good. I’ve watched almost all of Babylon 5. I’ve read Hitchhiker’s Guide and all of Discworld. LotR! Firefly! Star Wars!
            I love playing obscure, complicated board games! I play Magic sometimes, for goodness sake! (Though I’m not quite as good as Jon Finkel)
            Er… Er…
            I have murdered thousands of cute, fluffy, bunny-like creatures in various RPGs!

            *Runs away in panic*

          • September 1, 2011 at 3:03 am

            I didn’t like Buffy much. I found some of the characters too whiny, and non of the Human Normals really did much besides become macguffins or gain powers before becoming reliably useful. That and I wouldn’t be able to stand Buffy in person, but I’m a geek. Granted, an extremely unpopular geek, but still. I play EVE, I can understand Dr. Who episodes like second nature, and I watch the old specials. I used to play Yu-Gi-Oh pretty competently. I’m overall a good geek, right down to being a averagely intelligent guy with science interests. So if you really wanna go on purification, isn’t the Dr-Who? The Dresden Files and gaming nerd a much more fitting target?

    • August 30, 2011 at 7:19 am —

      Ah, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that she’s watched many of the episodes more than twice! I mean, honestly, once was too much for “Beer Bad”, so I think Rebecca deserves some kudos for sitting through that a second time out of, I can only assume, sheer dedicated to rewatching the series as a whole.

      • August 30, 2011 at 7:20 am —

        Sheer dedication, that is. Damn you all, I just woke up. Don’t judge me.

      • August 30, 2011 at 8:04 am —

        I lolled all the way through my most recent rewatching of Beer Bad. So terrible it’s wonderful!

        • August 30, 2011 at 9:36 am —

          Ugh. That episode is pretty funny, but I find that season the most difficult to rewatch. When are we finally going to develop some much-needed Riley-filtering technology??? I would settle for something that just pixelates him and garbles his speech (really, would any of those episodes be any worse if all his dialoge was replaced with a gibberish-spouting blur?), but better would be something that replaces him completely with James Callis…

          Sorry, what were we talking about again?

    • August 30, 2011 at 7:28 am —

      Yeah, geek cred doesn’t kick in until you’ve watched each buffy ep at least five times AND read the comics. ;)

      • August 30, 2011 at 7:44 am —

        Dammit! I’m a geek too, you know! I am almost completely certain!

        I’ll have you know, I eat programming languages for breakfast and sci-fi novels for lunch! :)

  9. August 30, 2011 at 6:54 am —

    That was a really good rant about a a woman that manages to come off as a shallow b-ch. So what if you didnt click with someone, and so what if they have a hobby you are not impressed with?

    If geeks should announce their interests in advance, will people like Alyssa add in that they are judgemental b-stards that normal people should avoid?

    Btw, the Australian version of Gizmodo has slightly different version of the article and a good follow-up to it.

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/08/alyssa-bereznak-just-reminded-us-that-women-can-be-predators-online-too/

  10. August 30, 2011 at 7:31 am —

    I am a proud geek girl. I’ve table-top RPG’d, I’ve MMORPG’d (before it was cool), my favorite computer game of all time was played on a 386 (system shock 1), I love sci-fi, I have a tolkien tattoo, my favorite book is dune, and I’ve watched buffy obsessively. This shallow chick doesn’t know what she’s missing. I’d happily date this guy.

    • August 30, 2011 at 8:56 am —

      @BeardofPants: You have a Tolkien tattoo TOO?! We are best friends now.

  11. August 30, 2011 at 7:32 am —

    Also: It’s a little (lot) depressing that one of the most recent comments is by a guy whose opinion on women (“girls”) is more or less cemented by this shallow bitch. He basically claims that the reason women are nags is because they don’t have hobbies. Gurrrrr.

    • August 30, 2011 at 8:05 am —

      Exactly what I was afraid of. HULK RAGE

      • August 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm —

        Yep, our only reason for existing is to buy shoes (to look good for men), nag men, and occasionally put out. Where would we be as women if there weren’t men to tell us empty-headed women what to think. /grinds teeth

  12. August 30, 2011 at 7:44 am —

    Most of the article is terrible, but she really bugs me with her conclusion:

    “Maybe I’m an OKCupid asshole for calling it that way.”

    Yup.

    “Maybe I’m shallow for not being able to see past Jon’s world title.”

    Yup.

    “But there’s a larger point here: that judging people on shallow stuff is human nature;”

    Um, no. Don’t try to rationalize your pettiness by saying everyone else does it. Some of us are actually willing to forgive or overlook the little things that harm no one. You’re just kind of a horrible fucking person.

    • August 30, 2011 at 8:06 am —

      Yeah, and how is that even close to being a larger point? I suspect that at least a small part of my rage over this article is about what an incredibly awful writer she is. How do people like that get jobs writing?

      • August 30, 2011 at 9:39 am —

        Particularly since she was nerd bashing on her website GIZMODO.COM which would be like an editor of Cigar Aficionado tearing into smokers. I wonder if she used her magic, California-to-Brooklyn transfer, hipster powers to get a writing gig at Gizmodo just after getting out of college. Of course, she might not even be getting paid for all I know.

      • August 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm —

        It almost seems like she was nearing the end of the article, knew she needed a “larger point” to justify the whole thing, and realized that “I’m shallow and mean-spirited” probably wouldn’t work.

  13. August 30, 2011 at 7:46 am —

    so, her criteria for thinking he was weird enough to write an article about is that…

    He plays a card game well enough to be highly regarded by other people who play that game?

    Damn. Finkel really DID dodge a bullet here.

  14. August 30, 2011 at 8:54 am —

    From the Australian article; Google the shit out of your next online date. Like, hardcore.
    .
    That is some really good advice; good luck on getting that next date.
    .
    I wonder what Jezabel would have thought if a male had written this article (about a woman who didn’t like cars, say) for Jalopnik? Would they have gleefully cross-posted it or would they have (rightly) torn it a new one? Curious.

  15. August 30, 2011 at 9:06 am —

    To be fair, I’m sure her OKCupid profile probably contains a complete list of everything anyone might find the least bit off-putting about her. Like, y’know, the fact that if the date doesn’t go well, you might find it dissected on Gizmodo. I’m sure that’s right up there in the “I’m really good at” section.

  16. August 30, 2011 at 9:07 am —
  17. August 30, 2011 at 9:14 am —

    This is what happens, I thought, when you lie in your online profile. I was lured on a date thinking I’d met a normal finance guy, only to realise he was a champion dweeb in hedge funder’s clothing.

    Ah yes, he maliciously “lured” her on a date. How horrible of him! “Dweebs” need to fully disclose their dweeb status to any potential dating partner, as they can transmit their incurable dweebness by sharing a table with you at a cafe. Shame on him.

  18. August 30, 2011 at 9:20 am —

    I’ve had some good luck on OKCupid, met some really nice women. But I have also met many women who get a very panicked look if I so much as mention D&D, video games, or writing. I feel like I’m trying to hide something when I don’t mention them. Rock, hard place.

  19. August 30, 2011 at 9:23 am —

    I’d love to see his article about going on OK Cupid to meet a girl who seemed to be normal but turned out to be a superficial judgmental idiot.

  20. August 30, 2011 at 9:41 am —

    In the interest of full disclosure, my OKCupid profile definitely identifies me as geeky. There’s even a picture of me at a Cory Doctorow booksigning. That should be enough to scare off any Bereznak-ian types.

  21. August 30, 2011 at 10:13 am —

    I’m really glad to see the number of women who are jumping on this article. It baffles me that a woman would post an article basically confirming every horrible stereotype I heard thrown around my gaming group in 9th grade about ‘normal’ women. Her rationalization of her own bitchiness not withstanding, I am glad I realized a long time ago that, just as you can’t judge a man as worthless because he rolls dice instead of pounding beers on a Friday night, you also cannot judge a woman as vapid because she paints her nails instead of reading Sandman. Now, if we can just stop insane articles like this one from being published, maybe the next generation of geeks will figure it out sooner than I did.

    Oh, and Rebecca: your nerd rage is top-notch. Beautiful dressing-down to someone who really deserves it.

  22. August 30, 2011 at 11:28 am —

    I almost wrote a comment on Alyssa’s article with the actual reasons she’s an OKCupid asshole, and the regular kind too I guess. But someone had linked to this reply on Gizmondo and I figured I’d just add my “I agree”-power to that instead.

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/08/alyssa-bereznak-just-reminded-us-that-women-can-be-predators-online-too/

  23. August 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm —

    I was raging about this last night and was going to draw something about it. But damn, it’d be practically redundant with all the geek solidarity out there :)

    It still baffles me how badly the article was written, and how terrible she would have to be in order to not realize she is bashing a nerd while writing on a nerd/tech/geek blog. Sounds like she’s working towards a TMZ portfolio.

    But conjecture aside, I did offer her the protip of “C’mon, know your audience.”

  24. August 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm —

    Hey Rebecca, very interesting story about a nice guy and the frog he didn’t kiss. Today is my 25th anniversary and my wonderful wife still smiles at my geek/nerd tendencies and has come to accept that I’ve passed these genes down to our two children. I was even able to get my wife to read Dune in the first few years of our marriage, but sadly she still hasn’t finished a Neil Stephenson novel. Oh well, small steps; but at least she’ll watch Dr Who and go to SciFi movies with the rest of the family.

    • August 30, 2011 at 7:28 pm —

      EVERYONE should read Dune /borg

      Seriously though, that book was probably one of tipping points that made me a skeptic/atheist. It was LIFE CHANGING.

  25. August 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm —

    Re: the “know your audience” comments, my husband and I strongly suspect that the article got posted exactly BECAUSE Gawker (and Jezebel) knows its audience. What better way to receive oodles of page hits than to post an article so clearly infuriating to the majority of your readers?

    The hubby and I might be cynical mofos, but I find this scenario a lot more likely than editorial misjudgment.

    • August 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm —

      And by Gawker, I meant Gizmodo. But really, the whole Gawker empire.

    • August 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm —

      Not cynical. Correct.

    • August 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm —

      If you click on her byline you find out that Alyssa is an editor. Her last three “pieces” were;
      .
      A rant about Disney shitting on her childhood because they had the audacity to make The Lion King 3D. I personally think that this type of take on pop-culture reinventing itself was done better by Patton Oswalt when he told the entire internet to get off his lawn.
      http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/12/ff_angrynerd_geekculture/all/1
      .
      A review of a sweet new titanium cigar cutter. (The hipsers appearantly <3 jaw cancer)
      .
      And, whould you look at that? A factiod that also appeared in the Village Voice about how aweful NY OKCupid profiles are.
      .
      Deep and thoughtful as they all are, it’s not exactly The NewYorker. Just saying.

  26. August 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm —

    Gawker: They turned trolling into a career. Don’t let them get to you. The entire publication is a shallow, worthless shit hole that can’t fail fast enough for me.

  27. August 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm —

    Gawker: They turned trolling into a career. Don’t let them get to you. The entire publication is a shallow, worthless shit hole that can’t fail fast enough for me.

  28. August 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm —

    Um, if you list all possible hobbies and interests on the off-chance that someone out there might find something you do to be a dealbreaker, you’ll just get tl:dr’d.

    I oughta know. I list those things about me that I’m pretty sure people will find to be dealbreakers (like being atheist) and I get angry emails all the time for how long my profile is and how no one wants to read all that stuff about me.

    ::blinkblink:: isn’t the purpose of dating to get to know someone? And isn’t the purpose of online dating to get to know someone before wasting time with them in person?

    I guarantee that if he *had* mentioned his Magic experience, she’d just publicly blast him for being a braggart nerd or for making a profile that was too long and she got bored reading it.

    Also, arrogant much? Don’t mess with writers from Gawker cuz they might write about you? Has Alyssa MET the internet yet?

  29. August 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm —

    I savor the sweet, delicious irony that from now on, when someone “Google[s] the shit out of” her, THIS ridonkulously judgmental screed (with its accompanying “WTF?!” comments) is what will show up as the top hit.

    Here are your fifteen minutes, Ms. Bereznak. Enjoy!

  30. August 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm —

    I don’t understand the uproar about this. Maybe cause I’m not a gamer? I have ridiculous standards that I judge dates with. It really limits my dating pool, too, so it’s not like it has any rational basis. I try to avoid dating social workers, which makes me a) an asshole and b) lonely because it seems that 85% of lesbians work in that field. I would definitely write disparagingly about a date with someone who spent a lot of their time watching reality tv.

    Do nerds really need this much defending? Weseem to be all over the place around here. (Seattle)

    • August 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm —

      Jalyth, the reason there is an uproar is that she tried to hurt him IRL for private and personal stuff which she didn’t like and which had nothing to do with her. She was pissed that he didn’t meet her fantasy expectations of what she wanted him to be. He wasn’t exactly what she wanted, so she wanted to hurt him. That is unacceptable behavior. That is the kind of behavior that makes the whole world a shitty place to live in. If you don’t like someone, move on and find someone else, don’t have a scorched earth policy and try to destroy everyone you go on two dates with when it doesn’t work out.

      This reminds me of the series of books a while back about dating and life which rhymes with “the fools”. The author also had a book on how to have a successful marriage which was published while getting a divorce (but kept the divorce a secret) and then tried to spin how the book was still valid (it wasn’t).

      I think the bullet he really dodged was that he didn’t go on date #3.

      • August 31, 2011 at 12:40 am —

        I didn’t read it as hurtful, I just saw it as a comment on the idiosyncrasies of online dating. But I’m probably wrong, as I’m in the minority.

        • August 31, 2011 at 1:21 am —

          What part of this doesn’t sound hurtful to you?

          “I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people I sort of know, including one of my co-workers. 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.”

          Is it the part where she accused him of “infiltrating his way into dates” or the part where she tells mothers to warn their daughters that they might wind up on dates with *gasp* guys who play card games? Or is it the parts where she called him names when he didn’t actually do anything to her or exhibit any particularly offensive traits or beliefs – just that he plays some card game on the weekends?

          She is literally comparing his game playing with married men using OKC to cheat. In what universe is it reasonable for someone to know that not mentioning that he plays Magic in his profile is akin to “lying” and “infiltrating”? How many of your hobbies and “idiosyncrasies” do you list in your profile?

          He didn’t say anything sexist, he didn’t say anything racist, he didn’t treat her poorly, and he didn’t even dominate the conversation with talk of the game – he waited until she asked about it. He was a nice guy who treated her nicely and his payback for that was to get bashed by a girl who thinks he’s a “dweeb” for having a hobby that she doesn’t get.

          There are things that should be obvious that *most* people will find a dealbreaker and/or be offended to learn after the fact – marriage, kids, maybe even religious status. But someone’s hobby? That’s the kind of thing you talk about on a date when you’re getting to know someone, not the kind of thing you put on your profile to potentially warn someone away who might think you’re a liar for not mentioning it.

    • August 30, 2011 at 11:40 pm —

      Maybe you should move to Boston? My limited statistical database only has 1 social worker (my cousin’s girlfriend*.) Other occupations include piano tuner, MIT dean, computer programmer (2), retired State Department employee (2), builder of architectural models, mom, college rowing coach, barista, and a few acquaintances whose jobs I don’t know. But only about 10% social workers. On the other hand, almost all are either married (I live in Massachusetts, w00t!) or in long-term relationships.

      Oh, well, good luck in finding a nerdy non-social worker who doesn’t watch reality TV.

      [*] But she’s a nerdy social worker, who introduced me to her netbook, the first time I got to play with one, though I had to fight off her 11 year old nephew for it.

      • August 31, 2011 at 12:43 am —

        If I’d mentioned any of my other criteria, you’d know even better why I’m single. Ha ha. Also, I think you know way more lesbians than me. I suddenly feel the urge to go check out my stagnating okcupid profile and message some people. :-)

    • August 31, 2011 at 5:21 am —

      the uproar isn’t because she didn’t want to date a gamer. The uproar is because she wrote an article about this particular gamer, including personal information about him and a link to his wikipedia page, and put it up on the Internet on a website read by hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.

      You can date who you want, or not date who you want. Publicly naming and shaming people who didn’t meet your exacting standards makes you a douchebag.

  31. August 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm —

    While Bereznak does seem to be a professional troll, this does seem to highlight the importance of making a comprehensive and honest profile, with all the important facets of one’s life well-represented. It may reduce the total number of “hits” but the ones you do get are much more likely to be a good match. My primary OKC picture is me in Cosplay, and I have a wonderful geeky boyfriend to show for it.

  32. August 31, 2011 at 9:38 am —

    I just can’t help but wonder Bereznak motives in printing this. The article was not insightful or a good read (I know my opinion) so why bother. I think she completely exploited the exchange for the internet. Anyone that was to Google the magic world champ may click on her article. I think this was a misguided way to boost her audience. Anyway, without any real proof of her motives, I just can’t imagine another reason for her acting this way. As for her calling Jon F. a ‘dweeb’ and use of ad hominem attack, maybe that makes it easier for her to use people. I mean when someone is clearly a *dweeb* like Jon then of course she has the right to treat him however she likes…sarcasm…

    • August 31, 2011 at 10:43 am —

      I think she might just fancy herself the internet’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw; dishing on the men she’s met and waxing sarcastic about their oh-so-many flaws.
      The differences are Carrie Bradshaw is fictional and even then never used names, plus the flaws that she found in the men in her life reflected on her as much as they did on the men.
      I would instead liken her to Perez Hilton; sarcastic gasbags that are far more impressed with themselves than anyone else is.

      • August 31, 2011 at 11:17 am —

        HAHA! I would completely agree with you about her filling in for ‘the internet’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw’. Maybe with her brush with celebrity, she feels she is Paris Hilton. :) With that said, the nature of the ‘self help’ columnist making up completely subjective advice from their personal experiences, anyone can fall prey to this sort of person’s repertoire of anecdotes. I do not give her the benefit of the doubt on her exploitative nature in this instance. BTW, Cari Bradshaw totally went on dates and to events looking for material for her columns.

        • August 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm —

          GOSH…Strike Paris and enter the word Perez…I think my uncool is showing…

  33. August 31, 2011 at 10:35 am —

    He should send her a fruit basket. He’ll have a date a night for the next several years out of this and will probably meet some very cool women. Although, I found a site where he is bragging of being offered BJ’s from fangirls who are 8’s and 9’s compared to the author of this article, whom he refers to as a mere 4. Not classy. Meanwhile, teh intrawebs has exploded with people calling her a “bitch” and a “cunt”. Also, not so classy.
    …though, I struggle to find more appropriate terms to describe her myself.

  34. August 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm —

    My “geeky” other half spent most of his teenage years in a basement playing D&D. He has boxes of the stuff. Thank goodness I didn’t judge and dismiss him for it. His big ol’ brain is super sexy! Dumb guys get boring very quickly.

  35. August 31, 2011 at 7:58 pm —

    This is a couple of days old but I was busy playing the new Deus Ex. But I had to write something as I am horrified at this Alyssa. I am an ALYSSA. And I played D&D. And trumpet. And worked in video games. It saddens me that she staining my proud geek name.

  36. August 31, 2011 at 8:03 pm —

    I’ve been trying to put my finger on exactly what bothered me about this post – yeah I don’t care for Bereznak’s article but…
    Amanda Marcotte pretty much sums up what I was feeling about it:
    http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/separating_out_the_elements_on_the_latest_internet_dating_sex_controversy

    • August 31, 2011 at 10:58 pm —

      I could have bought that if she hadn’t glazed over at the sound of M:TG, Googled him, then set up a second date.
      You of course get to reject people for whatever reason you wish, you do not get to string someone along to get a better story without being labeled shallow.
      Amanda disagrees but I think she missed it on this one.

      • August 31, 2011 at 11:44 pm —

        I could have bought that if she hadn’t glazed over at the sound of M:TG, Googled him, then set up a second date.

        You of course get to reject people for whatever reason you wish, you do not get to string someone along to get a better story without being labeled shallow.

        Amanda disagrees but I think she missed it on this one.

  37. September 16, 2011 at 3:38 am —

    http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/22786_To_My_Someday_Daughter.html – A Magic:the Gathering writer talks about the Bereznak blowup.

    Seemed worth sharing.

  38. September 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm —

    Apologies; but I’m pretty enraged right now.

    I’d like to start off saying that this is a totally childish response to an already childish article. Beznerak wrote an account of an OKCupid date she had. She really probably shouldn’t have, but the backlash she’s getting for it is ridiculous and I would have never EVER expected to see an article like this on my favorite blog.

    You completely demonize Bereznak, saying things like “Despite the fact that she found this repulsive…” and “Appropriately horrified”. She never anything at all about being repulsed or horrified by this. You know, not everyone’s type is a gamer. Not to mention, he met her on OKCupid and neglected to tell her at all about a HUGE part of his life.

    “After all, it’s not easy fighting to destroy the damaging stereotype that women are shallow bitches who not only won’t date nerdy men but also laugh at what dorks they are behind their backs.”

    The way I see it, she went on two dates with the guy. I don’t think that refusing to date someone because they play magic as competitively as Jon Finkel is shallow at all. She didn’t know he still played magic until she ASKED him on the second date. I’m sure he spends a great deal of time and money on that game, and it’d be hard for someone who “doesn’t even play solitaire” to tolerate.

    I’d also like to point out the entire second half of the article that I completely skimmed where you point out all your geeky hobbies. In response; THAT’S NICE.

    You’re right about one thing, Beznerak is probably pretty embarrassed right now, especially with numerous meme images of her floating around detailing how ugly/shallow/bitchy/etc she is.

    She wrote a stupid article. That doesn’t mean that you should respond with an article that is just as pointless and childish.

    I think that Jon Finkel is the only person on the entire internet who’s handling this situation with any amount of class.

  39. June 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm —

    – I got into software stuffs because my boyfriend (now husband) is into programming and I found I like it;
    – My husband does play Magic and he’s a Role Player (P&P, an original system he and some friends developed) and I support him going out to play;
    – My husband played WOW for a while and I often sat by to watch; one time, while he was playing it with his brother, he said he was hungry, so I offered to make him a sandwich, which I then fed to him so he didn’t have to let go of his mouse and keyboard. It was fun;
    – My husband read the first volume of ‘Otherland’ to me, the whole 1000 pages;
    – We watch Game of Thrones together;
    – He always talks to me about his programming problems and I listen and sometimes I can help him because I’m good at finding workarounds;
    – My husband likes to build stuff but he’s not that good at it so I supervise him and help him plan out stuff;
    – We both love Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett and listen to geeky, nerdy podcasts together;
    – He got interested in science because I am such a science nerd;

    Also, my husband is the total opposite of a sexually aggressive alpha-male; he’s the most gentle, considerate, cute man you could imagine.

    My theory is that ‘friend zoned’ guys just aren’t conscious of the off-putting latent passive-aggressive misogyny that they’re carrying. I think this mind-set is why so many women don’t welcome what they’d call their ‘romantic advances’.

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