This story sounds mean. It’s about a geeky guy judging a girl, whose article he read on Gizmodo, because she’s a callous, conceited bimbo. But that’s the point: Judging people on shallow stuff is downright horrible, and furthermore basing your judgements on a perfectly reasonable hobby (that one makes a living out of and just happen to be the world’s best at) is ludicrous. But judging someone based on their cold, hurtful remarks is more than fair game. One person’s Magic is indeed another person’s fingernail biting, but one person’s Magic is also another person’s alcohol binge.
Yesterday, sober I might add, I stumbled on an article on Gizmodo.com and immediately had a WTF? moment. I don’t usually react so badly to articles online because, well, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion yadda yadda. Normally I would think, the writer’s probably a nice person just having an off day. God knows, I frequently have them myself. But my reaction was of so much outrage, what the hell, I thought, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and coming to this awesome guy’s defense:
I find it hilarious that within two sentences you’ve proclaimed yourself a nerd yet you go on to explain how you basically nearly vomited once you found out that your date was into something that would be considered nerdy. Let me break it down for you: the guy you just went out of your way to make fun of and shame is the world’s greatest Magic: The Gathering player. The closest you’ll ever come to the being world’s greatest at is being a massive douche.
Jon Finkel will probably never write an article maligning you because, well, he seems like too much of a nice guy. So I’ve taken the liberty to recount the date as I imagine it would have felt like if I were him.
So I logged into my OKCupid profile to browse around. It’s all the rage now and it’s going okay. I’ve met a few people from it, nothing special so far but it doesn’t mean the one’s not out there. And someone caught my eye; she seemed all right. Not too much details on her profile:
Body Type: Amazeballs. Has to be seen to be believed.
Drinks: Socially :-/
Sounded promising. So I thought, I might message her and tell her we should go on a date.
She agreed. She told me her name, I Googled it. She works for Gizmodo. A geeky site. Tick.
A week later we met for a drink. Alyssa was thin, dressed like she’d just been rejected from Bungalow 8 yesterday and she smelled like a brewery. We started talking about the normal stuff, y’know, family, work, college. She mentioned her brother was a gamer. So I casually mentioned how I played Magic: The Gathering and I’m pretty awesome at it.
She laughed. Strike one.
I thought she’d be slightly more receptive to my gaming since she’s probably surrounded by lots of people just like me in her line of work. It’s not as if it’s a crutch I bear and it’s taken over my life so much that I can’t even leave the house. I game, I have a life, I am the world champion.
She seemed slightly embarrassed that she’d laughed in my face, so she necked her beer like a frat boy at a hazing. And with that we had to leave. I’d bought tickets to a one-man show based on Jeffrey Dahmer’s life story. I’d heard it’s good and it’s something a little off kilter. It’s also not particularly romantic. A safe bet, I assumed. It was an okay time and we agreed to go out again later that week.
At dinner, the Spanish Inquisition started: “Do you still play? How often? Who do you hang out with?”. I answered her thinking she was taking an active interest in me and our date. I soon realised she was just smiling and nodding. Strike two. And there for the free dinner. Strike three.
After our dates had ended, I knew our potential romantic involvement had too. To wash away the bad taste the night had left, I went on two dates with some nicer people. No, they didn’t work out, but there’s no rush to find love.
I later found out that Alyssa had somehow come to the conclusion that our dates, and my obvious completely stomach-turning hobby, warranted dissection. People, warn everyone, this could happen to you. You’ll think you’ve just not hit it off with someone, only to end up featured on Gizmodo in a cruel, cold-hearted article detailing her revulsion.
Maybe my Magic hobby means I’m not her cup of tea, or maybe she’s just an OKCupid asshole. No online dating profile in the world is comprehensive enough to highlight every person’s unfortunate prejudice.
So what did I learn? Sometimes a Google search isn’t enough to realise someone’s a complete bitch.
If you’re looking for some far better responses to the article, here you go:
NerdPuddle’s awesome parody by @Kiala is here.
GeekGirlDiva’s brilliant open letter is here. We should think about sending that one to the Gizmodo editor en masse! Nothing like a massive email response to further signal the need for a retraction and apology!
Jill’s heartfelt and insightful response is here.
And finally, probably the biggest and best response is Gizmodo.com.au, the Aussie sister site’s response by Elly Hart. <3 for Elly, everyone!
There are, of course, many, many more out there if you do a search. But be warned about what Google may, or more importantly, may not show up.