• Tue, Aug 30 2011

Girl Uses Gadget Blog To Make Fun Of Nerds

So there’s a story that’s being widely discussed on the Internet today, and that story is this: Girl makes online dating profile. Girl goes on OK Cupid date with guy. Girl finds out guy is the world champion of card-based fantasy role-playing game “Magic: The Gathering.” Girl publicly rejects and mocks guy for being a nerd. Oof.

The full post is over at Gizmodo, but the meat of it is this:

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.

Maybe I’m an OKCupid asshole for calling it that way. Maybe I’m shallow for not being able to see past Jon’s world title. I’ll own that. But there’s a larger point here: that judging people on shallow stuff is human nature; one person’s Magic is another person’s fingernail biting, or sports obsession, or verbal tic. No online dating profile in the world is comprehensive enough to highlight every person’s peccadillo, or anticipate the inane biases that each of us lugs around. There’s no snapshot in the world that can account for our snap judgments.

Her point about snap judgments is pretty true; I know that there are many seemingly “shallow” things I have no reservations about rejecting a guy over, because I want to date someone I have things in common with. I want to date someone who has a similar sense of humor to me, appreciates the music I care about, makes me horny, etc. If your interests are vastly different from mine, or if looking at your body doesn’t make me want to hump it, there’s no sense wasting anyone’s time.

But to publicly make fun of someone for failing to meet your specifications when he was never anything but nice to you, and furthermore, to say he “infiltrates” his way onto dates with people, as if someone like him is fundamentally un-dateable? That just seems a little bit mean. (And you wonder why there’s so much nerd-on-hipster hatred!) Furthermore, to do so on a site that’s all about gadgets seems a tad…hypocritical. Or, as my friend Chris put it, “it’s one thing to be freaking Samantha. It’s another to brag about it on a site that posts leaked pictures of iPhones.”

I guess what I’m saying is, high school is over. It’s great that you’ve decided you don’t want to be a nerd anymore (or at least, not the kind that plays RPGs?), but being in touch with some semi-imaginary cultural zeitgeist does not give you the right to pick on perfectly decent people who just happen to be different from you. Or at least, not in any public arena. Your horribleness should be the secret shame of you and a few trusted associates. Everything is fair game when you’re three cosmos deep at brunch, amirite ladies?

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • SometimesElla

    Well stated, Ms. Peck.

  • L

    That girl seems like a real asshole.
    …I hate to say this because I DO make fun of him – a lot – but, my husband is a Magic playing nerd… and while I don’t particularly understand what’s fun about a wizardy/elves/vampire/bullshit card game, it makes him happy. There are worse things that he could be doing with his free time. He’s a well-adjusted guy with other hobbies, a career, and friends outside of magic which I can only assume the guy the author was berating probably is too. I’d like to see someone write up some snarky tell-all about her interests.

  • Ben

    I just can’t see the fun in playing a game like that with cards. And I guess I kind of think it’s childish and should be left behind with high school. But this b**ch (yeah, she is) failed to realize that it’s a competitive game, and he’s a freaking world champion? I don’t care what the game is, if thousands and thousands of people are playing it, and you’ve got the best right there, odds are he has something good going on inside his head.

    She can make fun of him all she wants, but I bet if they look each other up in 20 years she’ll be the one telling her friends that she dated him once, not vice versa.

    • richard40

      Never played Magic myself, just because I never quite got around to learning it. But certainly anybody who is into either poker or bridge, as I am, can understand being really devoted to a card game, especially if it involves real skill and strategy, and not mainly luck.

      Being the world champion of almost anything, even something most people think of as silly or childish, like eating contests, video games, checkers, etc, is still a mark of distinction. This gal is really lame to hold that against him, and then even worse to blog about how lame is is because he is a world champion.

  • Heat Seeker

    My son is a “Magic” aficionado.

    My son is also–in real life–a decorated combat commander with three deployments under his belt.

    I don’t understand the interest, but if he or anyone else finds enjoyment in it–fine with me. Have all the fun you want.

  • buzz

    He took her to a one man show about Jeffrey Dahmer on a first date, and she just kind of glosses over that. He is apparently wildly successful on a internet related activity that apparently is lucrative and prestigious (at least in certain circles)and THAT’S a reason to ditch him? Weird chick.

  • Eric

    Sounds like the world-champ Magic player dodged a big bullet there. I hope his next dating partner turns out to be an adult.

  • Anonymous

    Bottom line: If he was good looking enough, or her ‘type’ then she wouldn’t care if he was world champion at Magic. Hell she’d be bragging to her friends about it right now.

  • Ron B

    Hmm, does Ms. Jamie Peck (assuming that’s her real name, but really with the wonder that is Google it won’t matter, truth will out) realize that “google your date” is a two-way street? What sort of profile has she just created for herself when she decides to try it again? Somehow, I see her future as a little more lonely after all this.

    • Harry

      Correction for Ron B: Jamie Peck is not the person who wrote the nasty Gizmodo article. That was Alyssa Bereznak. Jamie Peck is the person who wrote this article for The Gloss, denouncing Bereznak for being such a condescending, narcissistic twit.

  • Gordo

    This sort of “nerd-ophobia” always makes me wonder how many hip chicks who went to school with Bill Gates are kicking themselves when they look at the out of shape jock in the lazyboy with the remote and a beer.

    • Maxwell Jump

      Or visiting their “bad boy with a good heart” at the local state penitentiary where he’s doing 20 years for armed robbery, or worse yet, 3 years for regularly beating the crap out of her.

  • Stick

    Smack…ouch.

  • larry sellers

    I had some friends in my dorm during college who played Magic. I mocked them mercilessly for it for a year. I thought that it was for losers, and that playing it was beneath me. Finally, one of them got fed up with it and told me he was going to teach me how to play. I continued mocking him, but agreed. It took about two or three games for me to get hooked.
    What I liked about Magic was not the the fantasy or role playing aspect. Magic is fundamentally a strategy game. It’s a lot like chess, only you’re not sure which pieces you’ll be able to play with, so there’s an element of chance. It’s also a game in which novice players can have a fair shot against experienced players (the experienced player just builds a weaker deck). So, maybe it’s more like go (qi) than chess.
    I had a really good time playing magic with my friends. I don’t still play, but that’s more because I don’t know anyone who plays.
    Most haters won’t even try playing, which is too bad, because they might like it.
    And to the Magic world champ, don’t sweat the girl. Her manna isn’t worth tapping ;)

  • Greg

    Jamie,

    Magic is no more a “card-based fantasy role-playing game” than chess is a “figurine-based military role-playing game.” It is a strategy game with a fantasy theme, but the exact rules of the game could be translated into any setting, or with no setting at all.

    I can forgive the use of “infiltrates” in her article, because it’s a reference to a Magic card, Shadowmage Infiltrator, on which Jon is pictured.

  • Kevin

    So this chick makes a living ‘editing’ for an online “publication” and it never even occurred to her to look him up? The first hit in google on his name is the Wikipedia article on him that has existed from 2006.

    Another example of the high quality of the Gawker ecosphere and the fine quality of the people they hire.

    • Shawn L.

      This is Gizmodo. Fact checking is NOT their strong suit.

  • Californio

    Hmm. Imagine a “fantasy” world where adults could date whomever they wanted and when it was not a fit or match, they could shake hands and move on – without feeling compelled to trash the non-fitting person.

    He didn’t tell her he was into some card game I’d never heard of, and she didn’t tell him that she was a “C yoU Next Tuesday”.

  • tyree

    Maxwell Jump said “Or visiting their “bad boy with a good heart” at the local state penitentiary where he’s doing 20 years for armed robbery, or worse yet, 3 years for regularly beating the crap out of her.”

    I used to work near the county jail, and what Maxwell describes is real. Near visiting hours dozens of young girls pushing strollers or carrying babies would line up to cross the street to visit their “bad boy with a good heart”. And somewhere, out there, that geek friend of mine who won $37,000 in three hours on Jeopardy is still alone.

  • Jim

    I know at least three couples who play online RPGs together.

    Compatibility can be found in the strangest places.

  • Jim

    Nerds are smart. Nerds invent things. Like spanking machines.

  • liz

    Wow, that’s cold. I just celebrated 25 years being married to my nerd husband and he loves me to death, has never looked at another woman and he makes a lot of money. And he’s pretty hot in a nerdy way. I think I’ll keep him.

  • Rose

    This guy still available? He’s awesome. She’s a twat.

    Also, Magic may be nerdy but it’s also so much fun! Even if I can’t win at it. Whatever. She can be stupid like that. There are far more awesome people in the world.

  • The Arcadian

    This “nerd” is the Gary Kasparov of MtG and is invited to compete all over the world. She’s lucky to breathe the same air as the guy.

    • Courtney

      I agree completely! My husband plays RPGs @ 24 & I love it :) . He even taught me how to play magic. Woo hoo for nerds!!

  • Dacey

    This is a talent that she shoes and i think she has done a great job whether she has done it for fun or some other purpose

  • Jensen Hoper

    I love gizmos, but I have never been able to get a place where I can get all the lovely gizmos under one shop. Since when I found Gizmomagazine, it has been easier. The site has a wide collection of the latest, geekiest and affordbale stuff. Check them out.