I was reading through The Daily What Geek today and I came upon this story. Apparently, a writer for Gizmodo, Alyssa Bereznak, wrote an article about her experience with popular dating website OKCupid. Recently, she went on a date with Jon Finkel, a world champion Magic: The Gathering player. Her problem: she didn’t know Finkel played Magic when she agreed to go out with him.
The foundation of this article is the idea that he should have disclosed this piece of information on his OKCupid profile. She seems horrified at being “tricked” into dating a geek, when she was looking for a nice “normal” guy, which I find strange, considering she works for a geekcentric gadget website.
Hoping against hope, she tries to determine if he’s still an active player on their second date:
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.
Hmmm . . . and I thought that surrounding yourself with people who have different interests was a good thing. I’m pretty sure you can still hang out with (or – gasp! – even date) someone that plays Magic, even if you don’t.
Towards the end of the article, she attempts to back pedal by saying she realizes it’s shallow to consider playing a game a deal breaker, and besides, he was creepy anyway because he took her to a one-man show about Jeffery Dahmer. Here’s the thing, if she was weirded out by the Jeffery Dahmer thing, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. That kind of stuff isn’t for everyone, and it IS a weird first date destination choice. But that wasn’t her main beef. She basically mentions it as an after thought. Her main issue with Finkel is that he’s a geek, and she was annoyed that she inadvertently agreed to go out with a geek. She completely dismissed him because he happened to play a game that she thought was lame.
I gulped my beer and thought about Magic, that strategic collectible card game involving wizards and spells and other detailed geekery. A long-forgotten fad, like pogs or something.
She’s right about one thing – she is completely shallow. (She probably should have included that on her profile.) Maybe part of the reason she’s still single and using an Internet dating service is that she writes people off because she doesn’t share their interests. This is the part that killed me:
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 she really trying to pass this off as a “Date From Hell” story? God forbid Finkel attempt to date “normal” people! He plays Magic, after all! My eyes actually ache from repeated eye rollings after reading this. Oh, and way to try to publicly humiliate someone for big page view numbers. Classy! (Although, should I expect anything different from someone who creates dating profiles while intoxicated?)
All I can say is – Jon, I think you dodged a bullet here. A big, shallow, judgmental bullet.
Bonus Features: An awesome rebuttal to her article from another Gizmodo writer.
The Escapist apologizes to Jon Finkel on behalf of women everywhere.