Alyssa Bereznak, writing for Gizmodo Australia [1], writes about using OKCupid, an online dating site. She ends up on a date with Jon Finkel, famed Magic the Gathering world champion, and, after verifying that he still plays Magic (the second date), she dumps him. And then writes about how dating sites should warn you about nerds before you end up on a date with them.

The story also ran in Gizmodo North America, with an important change: in the Australian version, Finkel’s name was not used. In the American version, the name is used.

Reaction from the Internet was swift and furious. Most of the better points have already been covered, and run along the lines of:

  • Alyssa is a petulant, judgmental, shallow idiot for judging a handsome, wealthy, honest, intelligent, nice man just because he plays games.
  • Alyssa’s claim to being “deceived” because Jon presented himself as a hedge fund manager is ridiculous, since Jon is in fact, a hedge fund manager, using not only the money he made playing magic but also the millions of dollars that he won at the World Series of Poker.
  • Alyssa was petty and unconscionable to use Jon’s name.
  • Alyssa uses Twitter and writes for Gizmodo for God’s sake; and she has the chutzpah to call someone else a nerd.

Etc. Even another woman writer at Gizmono Australia, Elly Hart, lambasted Alyssa for her post, her trollish behavior and her mind games.

All of which I pretty much agree with. I would just like to add that I wonder what Alyssa’s reaction would have been if she only knew about his devotion to poker. Or if he was a world champion at Bridge, or tennis, or flute. In other words, was this purely a fantasy / collectible card game thing, or are all world champions and hobby fanatics considered too nerdy to date by the likes of Alyssa? At what point does being a multi-millionaire who’s handsome, nice, straight, passionate, social, successful, well-adjusted, conversational, and available come into play?

I would have thought that the stigma associated with nerds would be pretty much gone by now. Nerds have pretty much taken over the planet and your life: your social life, your work life, your communication, your finances, your movies, and your music. Video gaming, even fantasy RPG gaming, is pretty much mainstream. How many people still consider board and card gamers to be nerds? When I talk to people about gaming, they’re mostly curious or neutral, unless they’re over 40 and a self-declared stick-in-the-mud.

[1] Update: according to a commenter, she wrote this for North America Gizmodo, and it was cross posted in Australia, the reverse of what I wrote.