Magic champ dissed, card-carrying nerds react

Quick! You there! Read this blog thingy over at Gizmodo.

There…done? OK, cool. You got the gist of it. Basically a lady who interns at the site wrote this tiny lil piece about how she went on a date with a Magic: The Gathering world champ. Woo hee, big deal, right? Well, no…it seems as though you cannot have an opinion against such nerdy things. People have called her names on Twitter, others saying she was not as date-worthy. Of course, many of those comments came from chubby dudes on Twitter. In real life they would be down with it just fine. She goes on to say how she gave him “strikes” for continuing to play Magic…she asked more about it on the second date (see? she did give him a second chance.)

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.”

Now, at this point the nerds of the Twitterverse started to salivate. How dare she give him strikes about playing MAGIC?! (without of course considering the possibility that he might play it obsessively, or for many hours in a day at least. Gamers never seem to admit to that part of it.)

The problem I had with the immediate defense on this Magic the Gathering geek (and I mean that in a good way, sort of like how rappers call each other the N word) is that it presumed all sorts of stuff. Yet, those who were mad at her for presuming stuff about the geek were doing the same thing about her. Her writing wasn’t that harsh, it didn’t call him ugly and she even gave him a second date. In fact, the main point of her article was that he did not divulge this part of his life on his profile.

That’s not like leaving off “I have a dog” on your profile…that’s more like leaving off “I spend several hours a day doing ________ .” That’s important to know, especially when (c’mon, admit it) it is a hobby that is often embraced by some…unusual people. Yes, yes, I know…ALL hobbies can be filled with wierdos. ALL OF LIFE can. But the point here is that she was not down with this particular type of weirdo. Sure, WE might be…we card-carrying nerds who get mad anytime someone questions whether or not sitting around playing magic card games for hours and hours at a time is healthy or not. Also, the dude took her to a play about a serial killer. While once again we nerds are required by nerd law to be OK with anything “odd,” not everyone enjoys the same things we do. She is not one of them. The fact that she works at a gadget site does not mean she has to like Star Trek or Felicia Day. A geek or nerd is not a person ruled by a set of standards…as Wil Wheaton recently quoted from his friend: “Nerds are people who really like stuff.” That’s it. But they do not have to like ALL stuff nerdy.

Think about it, and seriously ask yourself this question: what if the guy wanted to take her to church that night? How many of us would giggle at her jokes?

What if he wanted to take her to a knitting meeting, so she could learn to make a sweater? Uhm…OK. Cool with me, but c’mon, we’d understand if she thought that was unusual.

Now what if he had asked her to attend a meeting of witches? Sure, some of us would proudly say “Oh, that’s so cool!” simply because Nerd Law says that magic and shit is cool, but I’ll be honest and say that almost every witch I have met was basically a hippy. I’m not down with hippies. Plus, they believe in a religion. I generally do not hang with people who believe in that stuff.

She made her point very clearly: this was not about the fact that she thought that all magic dudes were losers. She never said that. She simply said it was the equivalent of not being interested in someone because of some little thing like biting their nails or smoking. When we are young, and if we are actively dating, we make calls like that. Sometimes, certain things just bother you. Was she possibly wrong if she thought this meant he was someone who was socially inept and surrounded by gross people? POSSIBLY. It’s also very possible that she had it half right. Or more than half. I noticed that a lot of the people who were defending him had never talked about playing Magic before.

Take a night off, go hang at the local Magic tourny or night. Yes, you might very well find some fantastic people, as I have before. But you might also find some people who are total social wierdos. I’ve met a LOT of those before, too.

Stop defending anything nerd simply because someone says they do not like it. Guess what? I hate Firefly. I think they tried too hard on the show and it was cheesy. I also hated the latest version of Battlestar Galactica, and thought that Avatar was the biggest piece of shit I had seen in a long, long time. Thor sucked. That last Xmen movie was bland as plain bread. Not all things under the “nerd” umbrella are automatically cool. In fact, a lot of it — and the people who participate in it — can be truly socially awkward and strange. Some of them do not shower at conventions, many of them have never kissed a girl. This is the truth. You cannot blame a girl who had probably seen a lot of those stereotypes for not wanting to get wrapped up into another one. Even though he offered to take her to a one man show about a serial killer (now that IS creepy, c’mon.)

The women in the article simply was not attracted to his lifestyle. Many of us “nerds” are. Thinking that she should be is actually completely against what being a nerd is all about. Remember, being into nerdy things is wonderful. You will meet a lot of those socially awkward wierdos and fall in love with them. Many of them just need a chance, possibly like this Magic champ.

Or, many of them are just not attractive to everyone. The lifestyle seems odd. It’s the same as me disliking obsessed athletes, chess players, writers or roleplayers. This just happens to be her thing. Shit, at least she admitted it.







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Beau Hindman

I cover games and write, which means that I sit around in my PJs all day, playing games. I love it.