Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gizmodo blogger threatened by the awesome

Two days ago, I read the Gizmodo article where Alyssa Bereznak blasts Jon Finkel for omitting his gaming habits from his OKCupid profile. As I have talked about before, I'm a gamer, but Magic the Gathering isn't my forte. So, I didn't know who he was, let alone that he was a World Champion MtG player. Was I impressed? I sure as hell was. What didn't impress me was Bereznak's lack of class in writing the article. I was a bit confused as to why her article appeared on Gizmodo, if only because it was about an online dating site, thus making it semi-tech. She didn't just talk about having a bad dating experience, she blamed the bad experience on the fact that Finkel was a world champion Magic the Gathering player.
Bereznak, an Intern at Gawker Media, the parent company of Gizmodo, prefaced her article with a section where she explains that what she has written may be perceived as "mean." This is a total case of "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all." However, in this case, if she wanted to talk about the bad experience, she could have omitted his name and not totally invaded his privacy.
This story sounds mean. It's about a girl judging a boy because he's a nerd (like so many of us!) that she met on OkCupid.
Who is this "us" that she's referring to? If I wound up on a date with a world champion of anything I would be in awe, not disgusted. Since when did it become a problem for someone to be passionate about something? To strive for greatness? I'm jumping ahead a bit, now. If she claims to be a nerd, then why doesn't she appreciate his hobby even if it isn't something that interests her? I'm not at all experienced with CCGs, but I find them interesting. I'm not sure if it's for me, simply because of the monetary investment, but I digress. Even if it wasn't her cup of tea, she shouldn't find it necessary to denounce the entire hobby on the internet.

The writer feels that because Finkel plays Magic, he's not the normal guy that she assumes he was when she initially checked out his profile. Apparently normal, suit wearing, hedge fund dudes, can't indulge their geeky sides every once and awhile. (In visiting my FLGS, I've seen plenty of suit-wearers in the Friday night Magic drafts.) The discussion of Magic was raised when Bereznak mentioned that her brother was a gamer. In the article, she quotes Finkel as having said that he participated in the game when he was younger and that he was the world champion. What she failed to mention that he became world champion in 2000. What she failed to mention is that he has won hundreds of thousands of dollars playing Magic in both single and team play.

Having been supposedly turned off by Finkel's hobby the first go around, Bereznak didn't politely agree for the two to go their separate ways. No, she went out on a second date and fired off a series of questions related to Magic.

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.
Why does it bother her so much that he plays this game? Did she feel threatened by his success? Did she think that because he plays with his good friends that there wouldn't be any time for a romantic relationship? She doesn't divulge the answers to these questions. She simply uses a checklist to find what she considers to be faults. The thing that grinds my gears about this is because she doesn't know shit about the game (which she fully admits). "Oh no, I don't understand it, it must be god AWFUL." That's narrow-minded and shallow thinking and she should be ashamed of herself.

I'm going to be completely honest in thinking that she went out on the second date on purpose. She probably talked to her editor about it and knew that there was potential for a story. (I'm reminded of the movie "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.) When it boils down to it, she was trolling on OkC while drunk and as a result decided to exploit someone as a result. Very classy, Alyssa.

I have a profile on OkCupid and I've been involved with a couple of guys from the site, one I dated for almost six months. On my profile, I include that I play D&D. Hell, I even say that I'm a blogger. Do I think that you have to divulge every bit of information about yourself in your profile? That would be absurd! What would you have to talk about when you actually found someone (that wasn't a snarky, narcissistic bitch) to go out with?

Shame on Alyssa Bereznak and her editor. Shame on Gizmodo. Shame on all people who make snap judgments about people before getting to know them.

For the record, I'd TOTALLY go on a date with Jon Finkel, Jeffrey Dahmer play and all.

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