I thought he said he was a magician!

So, like, I made this OKCupid profile, OK, and sure, maybe I had one or two mindless flings from it DON’T JUDGE ME but then there was this one dude who totally played me, I mean he almost appeared to be like, this normal attractive person with a real job and stuff but then OMG he plays this GAME with CARDS and WIZARDS and MAGIC MISSILES and oh god it was so horrible. I did go out with him twice because he totally has his own wikipedia page which means he’s kind of famous right? But it’s in a BAD WAY and I just feel so dirty because now I probably have BASEMENT COOTIES or something.

I did get to write some crap about it for my day job and clock out early so I could load up on more Vegas bombs, though, so it’s all good in the hood, yo.

OK, I’ll stop. (Kiala did it far better anyway.)

So, what’s wrong with this piece? Let me count the ways.

  • The obvious “trendy urbanite is FAR too good for our geeky basement dwelling selves WE MUST UNITE IN RAGE” reaction. While this is the first reaction for many, it’s also the least valid. Because, really, guys?  The first geek wave (by which I mean my generation, hi) is in our mid-40s now. WE OWN EVERYTHING. We can take the paranoid nerd fury down to Defcon 4, it’s OK. Wil Wheaton has the most popular web site in the Universe, for crying out loud. WE WON. Plus a lot of us are girls, and really, this isn’t the Victorian era, we can date amongst our own kind and our kids won’t have hemophilia.
  • The author spent an entire article writing about how she didn’t like dating someone. And then she named the someone. I know things on the Internet aren’t really journalism and it doesn’t count because even trendy urbanites can install WordPress now, but really, at least *pretend* to have some ethics. It’s OK, you’ll still get hits because you’re a girl and mid-40s geeks own everything now. IT’S OK TO HAVE A SHRED OF ETHICS.
  • This was on Gizmodo…. why? Did the guy have a stolen iPhone 5? Was the woman using some kind of new media HTML5 version of OKCupid? Was Nick Denton bored that day?
  • This was… just really badly written. What was the author trying to say here? That people who play Magic are funny? That dorks exist on OKCupid? That she should Google her dates? That if any date ever Googles her they’re never going to call her back, ever? I’m kind of at a loss.
In closing:





  1. Polynices says:

    Yeah, seriously, it’s like a posting out of a time capsule from 1991 or something. And even then (some) geeks ruled (part of) the world. Also, this is probably a cruel thing to say but, um, this young woman doesn’t look to be someone who really ought to be that picky. She’s not exactly God’s gift to men.

    • JuJutsu says:

      If you guys really were geeks you’d know that the Defcon system goes from 5 [least tense] to 1 [holy shit] not the other way around.

  2. It was a really dumb article but I don’t quite get the outrageous outrage over it. I’d understand the anger if he said he plays MTG a few times a month and she considered even that a dealbreaker. But the dude pretty much tells her he’s like the WORLD CHAMPION and that’s ALL HE DOES besides work. That’s a lot to ask any chick who’s not as hardcore a geek as him, and even most girl geeks would probably find that too much of a handful. And she’d probably walk if he said he was, I dunno, a world champion paintballer, a world champion kabar tosser, or any other pursuit without any glamour or other big social/financial benefits.

    • Auryanne says:

      Perhaps, and I don’t really begrudge her that at all. It’s the whole posting of his full name and information online that gets me.

    • Racht says:

      Wagner, he was the world champion over a decade ago. He was retired from the game for years, until they came out with the MTG “Hall of Fame” which gives to its inductees automatic qualification to all “Pro Tours” – the largest events they have 3-4 times per year. I’m semi-retired from the game myself and don’t follow it all that closely, but I believe those events are all he plays, and only if they happen to be in the US, since last I heard he’s now a multimillionaire investment banker in NYC. There’s one this weekend in Philadelphia, which may well be the only event he plays all year. That she assumed that he’s some full-time weird geeky gamer because of that comment is, well, her loss.

      • Female Gamer says:

        Even if he is … why is it worse being a “weird geeky gamer” than it is being a weird geeky golfer? Or a weird geeky golf FAN? (when the Masters is in town, smart people in Augusta take their vacations … in other states) The only real failure of strong interests is when someone doesn’t have any at all. That’s “normal”; that’s boring.

    • Female Gamer says:

      What if he was a bigtime sports fan?

      Nobody would think that was weird. I know because I grew up in a “football town”. It was kind of a scary place. People saw nothing unusual, or if it was unusual, it was admirable, in someone spending all their money and spare time traveling to see “their” team’s away games, following every moment of every player’s career, etc. And then there was the friend’s roomie who was a Steelers fan, not just a “fan” fan but so engrossed that pretty much every movable object he owned was in Steelers colors, with logo of course. That seemed to be just fine, too.

      Nobody would think an obsession with spectator sports was weird, so why is an obsession with participating in MtG weird? Only because some people have declared it is. People like this … loser.

      There’s more to life than glamor *or* big financial benefits. And if that’s all the chick in question is looking for, the guy is lucky she ran away before she latched on to him. Life is not certain. Glamor is fleeting. Money can vanish at the next turn of the economy. Someone’s ability to pursue what they want, what interests them, despite the people who expect them to be interested in things with ‘big social/financial benefits” is what counts … and he’s got it, she doesn’t.

  3. John Henderson says:

    When I worked in newspapers, Monday features were almost always crap, just because they usually had to be filed in advance of the weekend, and not good enough for the coveted Sunday edition. I dunno how it is with Gawker, because I rarely read anything on their sites long enough to form an opinion.

    But it is Gawker, so it’s questionable whether it really meant she got paid for it. I mean, she likes to write about herself a lot. Her one credit on Salon was all about how her father was an Ayn Rand fan and at one point suggested she become “emancipated” and go to work for him at his law office, and pay rent. She was a sophomore in high school at the time. This was apparently because her mom was suing him.

    Had a hook at the time, because the Atlas Shrugged movie was coming out the week after it ran. I’m wondering when Emasculate Gamer Geeks Day is, unless she’s talking about PAX Prime.

  4. I’m curious what the reaction would have been if you replaced ‘Magic the Gathering’ with oh, I don’t know, ‘Mixed Martial Arts’.  The same general things would apply:  Has competitions frequently, might have one that weekend, made most of his friends through it. 

    But I guess that’s more socially-acceptable fame.  *handwaves it and moves along*

  5. Ibn says:

    Wagner and Jason made the point that I tried to make to other people I know who lost their minds over this article. Replace, “M:TG world champion” with “badminton world champion” and would the interwebs even really care? Other than to acknowledge that the author is pretty shallow, something she herself even admits. 

    I found it sad that the geek blogosphere seemed to interpret this as, “She’s saying women shouldn’t date geeks!” whereas I read it as, “Online dating can suck, because people leaving important parts of their lives out of their profiles.” Projecting much?

    More importantly, no one will care about any of this in a week when the next geek outrage comes along. I’m betting it will be… (spins the wheel of geek outrage) a Bobby Kotick quote. We haven’t had one of those in a while.

    • Brask says:

      If we replaced M:TG with Badminton champion, the people hanging out in the badminton section of the ‘net would definitely be all over it.

      I’m sorry, the gaming community has a perfect right to mock people who shallowly dismiss our hobby.
      However, I think I’d agree the original author’s greatest crime was not to shallowly dismiss gamers.  Heck, that’s just trolling in my books.  It was to turn a personal date into a story without the slightest attempt at anonymization.  Like, WTF? That’s way, way, out of line.

      There is an interesting message lying behind the original post, however.  Dating is a very interesting exercise in information theory.  There is a good reason a M:TG champion may not want to mention that on their profile: there is more to themselves (we all hope!) than that title.  Anyone who would be attracted by the title can already find him – the whole reason to use such a thing as OKCupid is to find people you don’t already hang out with, no?  The second degree of separation – friend of friend compatibility.  Is this google-fu approach really defeating the ability for us to see beyond the splinter of our personalities that make it onto the ‘net?

  6. Riprend says:

    I feel like it’s more of that she just wasn’t into Finkel but found a big hook for a story. Can’t say I really blame her, either… Taking a girl to a jeffrey dahmer one man act on the first date isn’t exactly the greatest way to tap into the red zone. So to speak.

  7. So basically she went out with the geek equivalent of David Beckham and dumped him because she thought he wasn’t a date she could brag about.

    Can see why she isn’t a geek herself, doesn’t have 2 brain cells to rub together.

  8. red dot mist says:

    He’s a multiple pro tour winner, 2000 MTG world champion, and is a managing partner at a hedge fund, and not ugly.  She’s ugly, stupid, and a poor writer.  I’m really wondering who actually dumped who.

    PS.  I play MTG.

    • Female Gamer says:

      “Who dumped who” … you mean like John Fitzgerald Page who describes that notable incident as “I blew off some fat chick on the Internet” and the emails show the true story is “a woman (of unknown weight) didn’t want anything to do with a vain, shallow fool”? Yeah, I think you’ve put your finger on it right there.

  9. JeremyT says:

    The thing about this that’s truly bizarre is that she’s *an editor for Gizmodo*. She’s an internet-famous gadget queen and she apparently *doesn’t like nerds*.
    Hell, by her own recommendation – “Google the shit out of your next online date. Like, hardcore.” – she should be immediately disqualified from the dating pool. She has the stench of nerd all over her.

    I was half wondering if it was parody – it doesn’t even make any sense.

  10. A Man In Black says:

    “This was on Gizmodo…. why?”
    Possibly they’re stealing Kotaku’s schtick of posting blindingly stupid things and raking in the pageviews.

  11. BrianAneurysm says:

    Ironically enough, Finkel is ALSO a World Series of Poker champion who won 3 million plus a few years ago. Basically her article should simply have read “I went on a couple dates with a guy who was so much smarter than me that I simply couldn’t begin to relate to him at all so I insecurely blew him up in my callow Gawker column to make myself feel better for being dumb AND ugly.”  The pathetic nature of her article is just compounded by how much attention she’s getting over this.

  12. Xaldin says:

    Had similar issue with my now wife’s adult daughter who at the time had just hit 19. She was like ‘mom why are you dating a nerd?’. My wife had the answers of ‘well I love him’ and she has gamer interests too that her daughter tended to overlook. I looked over from my plate (at the expensive restaurant we were at) and said “I make six figures a year being a nerd”. While she had blown off her mom’s answers, mine she was all ‘Oh. Ok I guess it’s alright then’. 

    This poor girl is so short sighted and shallow (and honestly comes across as the lower percentile on the wrong side of the IQ curve)  I can’t help but think she did him a favor by not dating him more. 

    • LeeHereToo says:

      He’s handling this extremely well.  Both parties seem to be getting a lot out of that one little article.  😉

  13. Aufero says:

    Shallow, boring person doesn’t like some guy because he’s really into something she doesn’t care about.  This is news?

  14. If you dig through the OKCupid stats, you see that like 9/10 dates end in not in a relationship, so I guess that falls under the statistically normal bit. I don’t think that in the current times people are too surprised about strange/extreme hobbies (with a sliding scale on the time commitment) and just file it as one more “like/don’t like” property.

  15. Bob says:

    I just considered the entire article an epic troll.  Even more so once reacted to it.  Now gizmodo gets the hits for the good and the bad.  Win win for them.

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