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.







Author: Beau Hindman

I write for a living, which means that I sit around in my PJs all day. I love it.

12 thoughts on “Magic champ dissed, card-carrying nerds react”

  1. I like Final Fantasy XIV, and XIII, and XII, and the one where Aeris gets a sword through the gut.

    To some, saying you like or dislike something is the equivalent of being anti-nerd/geek/whatever, and that isn’t fair.

    Of course, I also do think that it was a bit of a dick move to give out his full name and Wiki entry in the article, despite his being a public figure in certain circles.

  2. I don’t know Beau…I thought she put a lot of emphasis on the fact that he was a Magic player and I thought the tone of the article was written like “I am too good to date someone who plays a card game” or at least that is how the article came across to me. That is her prerogative and and that is all fine but then she posted links to him and the article ended up basically mocking the guy…again, to me anyway. Like a public dumping of the guy…I don’t know, it just felt “off” to me.

    1. I posted his reaction earlier, and it’s interesting: “@Jonnymagic00: Apparently I’m enough of a (grade d) celebrity that even my uneventful dates make the news.” Of course, you are possibly right. She could have been meaning all sorts of things, but she even admitted that she was owning the “being a dick” part.

      My point is that she might very well BE too good for him. Why are we presuming she is not? The defenses I saw were coming from “he is cooler than her, because he played magic.” That gives us no information about his personality, or what he wrote. But I hear ya, and I can see how it could be taken than way. It was just a quick blog, though, probably to fill in some space. I’ll bet she’s reading it and wanting to change a few things.

  3. I agree with what you said above, however I think the problem with what this person said is that she posted it naming this one and potentially well know guy on the internet, for everyone in the world to see, and it puts one probably perfectly innocent person who hasn’t really done anything wrong in a little bit of a bad light.

    She had no real need to name the guy she named, and I’m sure if someone wrote something similar about her on the internet about her she might be a little annoyed. Why couldn’t she write about meeting just a guy who played magic the gathering a lot? It’d get the same message across but hopefully be less personally sensitive, and seem less of an attack on this person or anyone who happens to enjoy extensively participating in a hobby.

    1. Strange, though, because I haven’t heard anyone make fun of him. Well, so far. He even knows that he will come out better in it, I’ll bet. If anything, she is the one in the negative light…of course, I don’t think she intended it that way!lol

  4. I would have bothered the guy to teach me how to play Magic! lol

    Reading the article twice helped. At first it bothered me how she mentioned the guy’s name. But then, she doesn’t really talk bad of him, or insults him. She actually complains of her lack of depth and patience to learn about this guy, other then he being a master in his hobby of choice, and tries to bring that “shallowness” to all of us, how we all have some little thing we won’t accept on other people. In the end, we end up missing the chance to meet interesting people because of details that matter more at the moment.

  5. OMG Beau, how can you hate the latest version of Battlestar?? 🙂

    Nice post, I like how you always try to put everything in perspective. The girl is entitled to her opinion and if she doesn’t like Magic players, that’s fine, I understand how she feels, it’s just like me not liking sports fanatics.
    However, she shouldn’t have mentioned his name, that’s just NOT cool.

  6. I don’t see this the same as you i’m afraid, this is as bad as viewing her in superficial ways without really looking deeper. Notice she points out how he was dressed (Oh! money!, ugh) and acting like being into Magic is like being a pedo or meth head, then naming him and what she feels is shaming him. She’s a horrible writer, for a lower class site (gawker media, a joke on many levels), and is judging him for his hobby. The fact that she goes to write all that also shows it’s more to her than just not sharing interests, she’s the female version of the “g4 dude bro”.

    Let’s gender swap this, would be be okay with a guy posting about a date, and then naming a woman for something, usually sexual? Nope. Heck, even normalize that, and say she was one of the people who “only wants a family, to stay home, etc.” or has a hobby that isn’t trendy. He’d be eaten alive. She deserves all the vitriol she gets.

    1. She deserves “cruel and bitter criticism” because she named him in a column? She didn’t mock him…she even felt bad at one point and admitted that SHE was the one who would be seen as the bad one in the article. Yeh….so let’s call her the C word and make fun of how she looks simply because she claimed to not be interested AT ALL in his strange hobby (she thought it strange is my point.)

      I think what you are referring to is called “nerd rage” and all it does is fuel the stereotypes that she was scared of.


  7. My problems with the blogpost linked could be summarised as:
    1) For some reason she didn’t consider playing a TCG at a competitive level “normal”.
    2) For some reason she considered Playing a TCG some crucial piece of information akin to being divorced/having children.

    I’m completely baffled by this approach, this seems to me to be a last-century reaction. It would be like considering it abnormal to have a twitter or facebook account. Or get my pants in a bunch about someone doing ballet or yoga or something.

    I don’t think there is any special onus on people dating online to divulge all information outright, especially seeing as to the blatant anti-nerd predjudice displayed on that blog (and here, I mean: “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.” – that’s nothing to do with “nerd” subculture, that’s to do with insecure, self-aware and socially inept *men*).

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