Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Date Alyssa Bereznak

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If you’re in this room, you won’t be getting a second date with Alyssa Bereznak. Photo CC BY-NC-SA by Isma Monfort

Alyssa, girl to girl, let’s talk.

You went on what is essentially an Internet-facilitated, near-blind date. You say everybody’s doing it, and you admit you’ve heard of some pretty crazy horror stories. So have I. But you know what? Yours doesn’t measure up. Not even a little.

Let me summarize what happened. You went on a date with somebody who wasn’t a good match for you. You probably said something like, “Hi, my name’s Alyssa. I blog for Gizmodo.” He heard, I am a tech blogger, which means I am also a geek and not going to run away when you admit you are a geek too. Then he told you he’s the world-champion Magic: The Gathering player, which frankly, is pretty geek-impressive. Your response was to tell the entire Internet how horrible he is…for being a geek. (Note: This link originally went to the Gizmodo post. It now goes to an screenshot on imgur of the post. It is still, however, not Bereznak’s original post, which has been edited.)

Do you see how ridiculous that is? I’m guessing you don’t. The italicized disclaimer that was added to the top of the post much later doesn’t excuse it either. “Judging people on shallow stuff is human nature,” it says. We can debate whether that’s true or not, but even if we go your way and say that it is, should you be proud of it? That disclaimer says, “Yup, I’m shallow. Not only is that OK, but it’s my right to be shallow, and I’m proud of it!”

Since you’re a single woman, for some guy, somewhere in your past, you probably had a deal breaker. Did you put that in your OK Cupid profile, as you insist Jon should have done with his championship title? Let’s review what you considered the series of deal breakers in this date. Feel free to compare with anything a guy has disliked about you.

Strike one: He “still” plays Magic. Ohs noes! The horror! I haven’t played Magic since high school, but it just wasn’t my favorite game. I do, however, have quite a collection of Steve Jackson and Looney Labs games, not to mention a library of RPG books. Too bad they’ll keep me from finding a date. No, wait. There are other nice, geeky, non-judgemental people in the world, and I married one. Now we play those games with our kids.

Strike two: He said, “I’m preparing for a tournament this weekend.” You probably won’t be cheering him on, will you? I’m glad he’ll be able to concentrate without your bitter face hanging over him.

Strike three: “I’ve met all my best friends through Magic.” You obviously don’t know this, but gaming is a great way to meet friends. When you’re playing games, you actually get to talk to one another. When was the last time you had a deep conversation during a Brad Pitt movie? Maybe you should try dating more gamers. I would way rather have a conversation with one of them than the “ordinary finance guy” you thought you were getting.

Alyssa, I take consolation in two things from this tale. One, Jon Finkel was saved from you. Two, when guys take your advice and Google your name before a date, they’ll turn up this post and see why they should cancel.

Jon Finkel, I don’t really know anything about you, except that you’re single and spend a lot of time playing Magic. And that’s cool. You keep right on doing it. That goes the same for all the other non-champion Jon Finkel geeks in the world. For every one of you, there’s a non-Alyssa out there who will be the mana for your spells.

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104 thoughts on “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Date Alyssa Bereznak

  1. “For every one of you, there’s a non-Alyssa out there who will be the mana for your spells.”

    That has to be the single sweetest thing I’ve ever read.

    And shame on this Alyssa for having the gall for trying to publicly humiliate someone for having a hobby that’s only a few degrees removed from hers on the Great Geek Continuum. And there is NOTHING wrong with meeting someone online if everything clicks. I happened to meet the girl of my dreams on twitter of all places where we both discovered the other had a pretty geeky interest in japanese cartoons of all things.

    Coincidentally, she and I both play Magic. Go figure.

    1. yes I agree, that is one of the sweetest and kindest line I have heard. Especially being single going on 5 years now… or maybe six. Lost count :'(

    2. It’s really just self-loathing, as she took a job as a tech writer despite the fact that she despises geeky things and is more your average “preppie” type. She just took the job she has, I’m willing to bet, because she couldn’t get hired writing what she really wants to.

      But it’s all good. Somewhere beneath all the layers of self-loathing, misdirection, deflection, and transference is someone who will one day figure out who she is and stop being so hateful. Alternately, she’s the best frickin’ wingman ever! What single guy wouldn’t want to be in his shoes about now?

      1. JPH, well said. It’s sad that someone who seemingly doesn’t like technology ended up as a tech writer. If I were a writer, I’d love to write about that stuff!

        Also, your wingman comment got me thinking a bit. Wouldn’t it be funny if it was all a setup? Although I doubt she’d ruin her own image like that.

  2. Right on. I’d go out with Jon Finkel . . . if I weren’t married to my own MMORPG-playing geek husband. Anyone who is that shallow should be spending time growing up, not dating.

  3. Wow ! that woman seems really nasty . I can see why he would not mention it upfront on his profile or chat…it is because he is modest about being so talented at the game ! I never played MTG , but my brother and his friends had many fun nights sitting up playing and laughing (often with their girlfriends playing too). As they got older they continued to play occasionally ,but now alcohol was allowed and soon some friends had small children sleeping in a port-a-cot. As a social group they had a lot of fun , memories of good nights together and a lot safer than clubbing . I ended up marrying a wonderful geek who plays rolls dice for fun and would not swap him for the world.

  4. The hubby and I went to a big ole’ geekfest last week and bought a suitcase full of sci-fi books. And then I came home and read her article and gave him an *huge* hug because there are so many nasty, awful people in the world, but I got him, and he’s a total geek and absolutely awesome.

    And this is true too: this poor woman will end up getting exactly the guy she thinks she wants, and they’ll have all their painful cool-kid drama, and it’s doubtful she’ll ever understand that she could have been a lot happier if she’d just relaxed and looked at what matters instead of hanging on to some bitter high-school popularity cliche.

    For the rest of the grown-ups, rock on with your geeky self. Today is Mary Shelly’s birthday. Happy Birthday, first lady of sci-fi!

  5. I see this bloggers point, in that I see magic the gathering card players as a child-like, and part of today societies attempt to stay young, rather than becoming adults. I see people in the 30s playing computer games the same way, even though I used to play at Uni.

    Of course this guy made a living out of it, which is something to be admired.

    But even if that wasn’t so, the dude is not worth her scorn, just move on.

    1. See, that’s just the thing of it- Jon Finkel made a living at it- as a TEENAGER. He made $250,000 playing it before he was 25. He then became a card counter, a la 21, and then a high-stakes poker player. Had a book written about his experiences (Johnny Magic and the Card Shark Kids, by David Kushner). Today he’s a managing partner for a hedge fund…

      …So where’s the problem? SHE’s the one that went out on the second date with him after googling all of this readily-available information.

      And now, as a consequence, if she comes across anyone who follows her advice on due diligence when finding someone to date online, they’re going to see that she’s judgmental, cruel, and possibly going to blog about your date online and could get 500,000 page views in the first 24 hours. Given that she’s an NYU grad student and her most viewed story other than this is an Ayn Rand piece, she’s obviously intelligent, but probably not going to have too much luck with love if prospective dates Google her.

      Congratulations, Alyssa, you got your fleeting fame. Now good luck trying to find someone you deem “worthy” to share it with.

    2. @Cak

      So…supporting yourself doing something you love is “not growing up?”

      …sign me up…

    3. @Cak

      ….um, ouch? As a mom in my late 30s who plays computer games I feel compelled to disagree. The hours I game have no more to do with a desperate attempt to stay young than the hours most Americans spend in front of the TV. I just happen to enjoy computer gaming. I always have.

      I really wish people would get over this misguided stereotype. Just because someone has hobbies that linger on the fringes of mainstream doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with them. Sheesh.

    4. @Cak

      So, that would go for sports too, right (with the possible exception of golf, which is arguably a business sport)? I mean, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, etc…those are things guys do when they’re in school, not once they grow up.

      Unless, of course, you can make a living at it. Then I guess it’s okay, but I still don’t understand the people who watch it. I mean, what’s the point?

      /sarcasm off

      1. you make a good point, but at least sports help keep you fit. i guess an argument could be made that some game players are exercising thier brains.

        i am not alone in my opinion, surely this is not the first time you have come across it?

        1. And what about the HUGE amount of people that never play sports, but watch them religiously? They are really fit huh?

        2. @Cak, I’m a 40 y.o. Master Sergeant with 16 years of service; including three tours to Iraq and a tour in the Balkans. I’m also a hard-core geek. Come talk to me if you ever want to discuss what it means to be an adult.

          1. Thank you for your service Soldier_Cynic — I saw a M:TG group playing together on my last deployment in 2009. You can definitely be an adult and still enjoy some game-time! Sure beats drinking games or drugs!

          2. Soldier_cynic, I will second the “thanks for your service”. I’m part of a 6 person group of role-players ranging in age from late 30’s to late 50s, 3 women, 3 guys. Some married, some single. All of us appreciate the work of the enlisted men even though only one of us has served. And for the person that things people who play role-playing games, online MMORPGs and collectible card games haven’t grown up, I was a software consultant bringing in 70 dollars an hour and one of the other guys is a systems analyst in a large firm with two sons. What is your definition of adult? Must only like the same things you do?

        3. HOLY CRAP the guy is a millionaire! He won the WSOP! and placed in money a bunch of times! He took his money and manages a Hedge Fund now, how the holy hell is that not growing up, everyone just sees OMG hes good at Magic he must be some basement dwelling caveman. That guy makes more money an hour than you make all day….

    5. To simplify what the above posters have said: “Hobbies are bad, amirite? lulz.”

      But it doesn’t seem quite the same when it’s phrased that way, I guess.

    6. @Cak: Curious- How would you classify me? I’m 50. I’ve been married 23 years, raised a great kid (still in college and will most likely attend graduate school $$$). Currently responsible for taking care of an elderly parent. Retired last year after earning all I’ll ever need after years in securities trading. Hell- I *think* I qualify as an “adult”, but I play D&D with some friends, hex board games with others, and Halo on my Xbox 360… Not as often as I prefer. Of course, I have other interests too, as my wife and I travel a bit… Living a life within your narrow definition of “adult” must be boring as hell.

      1. Thank you @Leo!

        I feel sorry for people who have such a limited imagination. I also feel sorry for the people around them. Why must we cling to stereotypes? Why must everything be limited, labeled, boxed, and shelved to be “acceptable”?

        I’m 38, soon to be married to a wonderful geek, I’ve had enough pain and adult responsibilities to fill 3 lifetimes already, and I’ve done more in those 38 years than many who make it to 100. I would argue that I am definitely an adult, I’ve always been “mature” for my age, and yet… I love games. All kinds of games. I love trivia, I love puzzles, I love board games, card games, computer games! I’m not trying to avoid growing up. I am having _FUN_. I do what makes me happy now, not what others expect me to do so that I can be deemed an acceptable “adult”.

        Listen to some Sheryl Crow @Cak … ” If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad! “

    7. The guy is a millionaire… He won the WSOP (World Series of Poker) and manages his own Hedge fund! Did she even make it that far down his Wiki page? Did she just leave that out cause it makes him look like more of a card shop playing MTG loser in the article, than a successful business man that would take all your money at a poker table in a minute flat and like to play MTG on the weekends?

    8. Has it occurred to you that “growing up” does not require that we give up the pastimes that defined our youths?

      We grew up with games, and games grew up with us.

      More’s the shame that you don’t grok that.

    9. I think you’ve got a fundamental misconception here.

      Most of the adult populace of the Western world spend a large amount of their leisure hours slouched on a couch in front of gameshows, reality television, sports, sitcoms. This passive consumption benefits them little. Actually getting out of that couch and doing some sport would be vastly better, but so would sharpening their mind on a strategy game such as bridge or chess or yes, even Magic: The Gathering. Chess makes the most striking argument against your thesis, being the game played by Napoleon Bonaparte, by Karl Marx, by Jean-Paul Sartre, by Bertrand Russell, by Marcel Duchamp, by Alan Turing (first to attempt work on a chess computer). Adults don’t play games? Why, many of history’s foremost geniuses have devoted many leisure hours to them, and I scarcely think you in a position to castigate them for being childish.

    10. “Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” (C.S. Lewis)

      ’nuff said.

    11. “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” — C.S. Lewis

    12. Ah, to be judgmental again, must be nice? I stopped being judgmental when I was a kid when I learned that everyone was different from me. Sounds like you’re hanging onto these childish traits more so than anyone playing a game.

    13. . . . it’s a game.

      Games are good things. Humans have played games since prehistory. Gameboards have been found scratched in pyramids, in spots that would be covered by doors and so forth — they were clearly put there by workers to play during their lunch breaks and so forth.

      Is there a difference between playing M:TG, and playing poker, or bridge, or chess, or Royal Game of Ur, or mancalla, or dominoes, or Pai Gao, or mah jonhg, or Settlers of Catan, or backgammon, or Monopoly? Do you live somewhere where you just tend to walk past parks and see groups of friends playing any or all of those? Is there a difference between someone who plays poker competitively, someone who plays pool competitively, someone who plays Magic: The Gathering competitively, someone who plays Scrabble competitively?

      M:TG is the newest game of that list: Texas Hold-‘Em probably dates from 1900, but didn’t get widely known until 1967; Scrabble made it into the mass market in 1952. Magic: The Gathering dates only from 1993.

      The other difference of M:TG is that it’s owned and operated by a single company; of that list I gave previously, only Scrabble falls into that category.

  6. I hate women like this. Like there are not enough ignorant shallow people, we have to give them a blog? Geez….I grew up playing d&d..got married, had kids, played EQ (because I missed d&d) and I now have teenagers who play online games, like to go to ComiCon and one even has his own video game blog…
    oh and I grew up to become a succesful Law Enforcement Officer and am now the “cool mom”…thank goodness mom’s like me are raising “cool” geek girls to edge out the Alyssa’s..great article ..thank you!

    1. I am so fucking jealous of you. I wish I had a mom like you. I’ll even be lucky if I can find a potential date like you!

  7. I forgot to mention how the first time I ever hung out with my wife on 9 years was playing Magic with a group of friends. Wouldn’t trade her for the world.

  8. Just to be clear, the post wasn’t originally on Gizmodo and the author isn’t a geek blogger. It was posted on Jezebel, their sister site devoted to “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion. Without Airbrushing”, and then cross-posted to Gizmodo.

    She’s still a horrible person though.

      1. Sorry for the double post.

        Also wanted to say that Jon probably saw that she’d interned with Gizmodo when he googled her as well. Might as well claim that that was false advertising on her part.

    1. Actually, the story was posted on Gizmodo on August 29, 3:30 PM and posted to Jezebel at August 29, 5:05 PM. So I believe you have that the wrong way around. It was also posted on Jezebel with the label “Republished from Gizmodo.”

      Of course, this makes it even more absurd, considering Gizmodo is a fairly geeky blog. However, Jezebel is rife with geeks at well, and most of them expressed indignant disgust at Ms. Bereznak’s crappy attitude and behavior.

      1. Bright_Raven, thanks for adding this clarification–that it was indeed on Gizmodo first. I was trying to reply yesterday while the site was down and having trouble getting through!

    2. Not trying to be argumentative, but you have it backwards. It was originally published on Gizmodo; look at the box to the right of the article title on Jezebel where it says “Republished from Gizmodo
      By Alyssa Bereznak Aug 29, 2011 3:30 PM”

  9. Honestly, playing the devil’s advocate, I think I would have dumped John too if I were in her shoes. Since he is obviously so passionate about Magic, I would be in the sidelines most of the time. And since I don’t like Magic, that doesn’t give me any incentive to cheer him on/support his passion.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with Magic the Gathering. It’s all a matter of personal preference. But when our passions don’t match, we go our separate ways.

    The problem is that she publicized the whole thing on the Internet. It’s a non-story. “I dated a bigger nerd than me!” Big deal. She handled the whole thing like an immature high school girl.

    1. Just to be clear- Finkle was a big deal in Magic TEN years ago. He still plays, but not professionally. He is a partner at a hedge fund now. He isn’t a Magic obsessed geek anymore. He is a “grown up” now, but he still enjoys to play geeky games….

      1. He also won the World Series of Poker and is basically a professional card shark millionaire…

  10. You are exactly right on all counts. What a horrible thing for Alyssa Bereznak to do. A part of me hopes she loses her job for leveraging her position for such cruelty. But that’s just my own bitterness. In truth, I hope she writes a follow-up about how she’s seen the error of her ways and makes it right with Jon Finkel.

    1. Even if it doesn’t affect her professional life, you can take comfort in the fact that anyone who is doing pre-date Googling on this woman will find this smug piece of crap masquerading as an article. I imagine most people would find that a turn off.

  11. The best part? She’s not even good looking. You couldn’t pay me to date somebody with a dog face like that.

  12. I wish upon Alyssa a Savage Love curse. May her next boyfriend be a closet geek who paints miniatures in his garage when he tells her he is working on the car, who goes off to play Settlers of Cataan at the gamestore instead of going “bowling with the guys” who runs a weekly Call of Cthulhu game when he says he is “playing” golf.

    It is perfectly acceptable to be ‘put off’ by his hobby…much like I’d be put off by someone who was really into taxodermy but if everything else was okay, I’d at least see how that hobby affected the relationship before making a judgment. And if I felt it couldn’t work out, I wouldn’t tell the world I thought she was an awful person for her interests.

    Each of us have a reason for a person not to like us and a reason for a person to like us and at times, that is the same reason.

  13. FYI, for all of you folks who continue to think he does nothing but play Magic…

    According to his Wikipedia page he’s a managing partner of a hedge fund.

    So his hobby makes him more money than the average American in addition to a very nice salary from a “respectable” job.

    Go figure.

  14. There are so many things wrong with this, it’s not even funny. It’s one thing to realize he’s not the guy, and that his interests and such clash too much with your own that it won’t work out, but the tone, the venom in which she writes is appalling. And then specifically naming the guy, WTF? Have a little more tact than that. It’s no wonder she’s single.

    On the other hand, who in their right mind thinks a one man show about a cannabalisitic serial killer is good first date material? You’re setting yourself up for failure right there.

  15. This entire thing is pretty sad. Everything Alyssa say’s is wrong and sums up exactly what she is doing this this guy.

  16. “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. ”

    Okay, so, replace “Magic” with “the golf course.” Would she have found that childish? Or a total dealbreaker if she happened to not enjoy playing golf herself? But maybe I’m biased because I’d be a lot more interested in the ubergeek than the hypothetical golfer or jock.

    1. Also, that whole bit makes me suspect that the second date was all about milking him for more article fodder, since she “got right down to it.”

  17. Please, take that link down. You should refer obliquely to her, but if you provide a direct link to her post, she gets more and more money per hit that you give her

  18. Read it while working on a squad of WH40k Space Wolves. Nearling cut my wrist with my tools. Thank you MOM^^

    I do think, it’s another Streisand like approach. Very calculated, and nothing new in the entertainment sector.

    Gain fame and profile hits via dissing a special social group.

    The best you could do is ignore her, the worst is visit her sites and add content aka comments to it.

    Oh and remove every link you have to her.

    If you don’t react that b…stuff, don’t link to it (not just that post, general every link to gizmondo for example) you hurt them more than anything else.

  19. He’s much too hot a commodity to waste on a non-gamer girl. 😉 It just reinforces my thought that geeks need to stick together. If someone thinks you’re weird because you’re passionate about something, they obviously don’t get it. This girl never will. I hope she finds someone just as shallow as she is.

  20. That last paragraph nailed it! There is someone out there for each and every one of us. What a hateful, sad person this Alyssa must be.
    Keep looking geeky guys and gals. There is someone out there just as geeky as you that is a perfect match! I found mine, you will find yours!

  21. I just gotta say: you rock. No, really, you do. This is the first time I come by something you wrote and you already rocked my socks off, consider me a new fan.

    Thank you for being an awesome person and keep fighting for what you think is right. Rock on.

  22. As much as I am not fond of her tactless karma whoring article on Gizmodo, I do have to support Alyssa on one point: If I had taken my wife to see a one man show based on the life of Jeffrey Dahmer on our first date I would still be single.

  23. When I found my boyfriend on an online dating website, the statement in his profile was “couples that game together make me jealous”. I read that and immediately sent him a message and we’ve been happily gaming together for three and a half years now.

  24. Honestly, you guys (and all you girls on here who are jumping on the bandwagon of hating on another girl who you don’t even know for maybe hurting a nerdy guy) are all hypocrites and are creating a double standard! Stop thinking any woman who’s both attractive and smart is out to destroy you. I don’t see anybody here going after any guy who’s been equally as shallow or worse than Alyssa – and they exist freely in the public eye with no repercussions. Maybe Alyssa’s article hit close to home on some of you folks because it rings so true to your life today. Which is another point to consider – the hater comments, all of you are terribly insecure. You all need to find another way to deal with all of that baggage rather than making this Alyssa girl the poster child for every rejection you ever felt. Just deal with it and be an adult. She’s human and so are you. You all have been shallow one point or another in life. I find it funny how one girl could turn all the nerds (and their equally misogynistic gfs) into the biggest cry babies.

    1. Lee,

      I’m going to make an assumption that you are not a regular reader of this site. Because if you were, you’d not make the assumption that this has to do with the fact Alyssa is female and/or good looking. Reason 1) We are all very beautiful female writers. Reason 2) GeekMom stood up when Miss USA was discriminated against because she is a beauty queen who happened to call herself a geek (http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2011/06/beauty-and-the-geek-miss-usa-2011/)

      2) If Alyssa was not into Jon, if she found his hobbies not to her liking, that is more than fair. But that is nothing that should ever have been said in public. She went out her way to attempt to humiliate Jon. Why? Who knows. Maybe she thought it is okay to write about someone is such a disparaging way, something that should have remained a private matter. Maybe she needed a quick buck, so she thought “I’ll get the nerds and geeks angry”.

      If you can’t see why what Alyssa said is wrong, in more ways than I have mentioned, let me ask you how you’d like it if suddenly your life was turned into tabloid fodder, because that is basically where Alyssa’s article belongs, in a tabloid and not on a tech site.

      1. Agreed Jules. I’m totally cool with people not being into other people’s hobbies. If we were all the same life would be incredibly boring.

        BUT, to trash someone on the internet simply because you don’t like their hobbies? Yeah, that’s desperately un-cool and Alyssa deserves to be called on it.

    2. I’m not going to lie, I’m shallow very often. More often than not, really. It doesn’t take much to turn me off. I’ve never written a post about it on a tech blog. I’ve never tried to justify my shallowness by playing up the feature I didn’t like, completely ignoring all the good qualities. I’ve never released personal details or the identity of someone I didn’t like on a popularly read website. I would especially never post an extremely public warning against an entire class of individuals based on one poorly-described experience she had with one person. But no, she chose to go “ewww, Magic, he must be a geek, you’re not good enough for me,” and then made a post about how a geek tried to talk to her, ewww.

      There are a few ways she could have handled the situation which wouldn’t have angered a large portion of the internet population. She could have not posted about her bad date at all. She could have posted a version with fewer(or *gasp* none) personal details about her date on a more thematically appropriate blog. She could have posted about a date where someone actually acted inappropriately instead of one where he simply *was* something which she thought wasn’t good enough for her. Plenty of ways.

    3. Any guy who writes an article bashing a girl he dates, by name, for simply having interests he didn’t like is an unmitigated jerk and I’m sure there would be plenty of people criticizing him for that kind of behavior.

  25. “there’s a non-Alyssa out there who will be the mana for your spells”

    That sentiment is so perfect.

  26. Alyssa showed very poor judgement in posting her views online. If you had a bad date (and I wouldn’t be thrilled by the Dahmer show either), you bitch about it to your girlfriends, you Do Not Post It for the world to see! Unless it is to warn others of extremely bad behavior.

    I met my boyfriend at a Mensa meeting. We have so much in common, it’s downright spooky. We’re both into SF/fantasy books, he invited me to join his gaming group and introduced me to the world of tabletop games (Catan, Carcassonne, etc. I love Munchkin!). We go the the local Ren Faire in garb (we also belong to the SCA). We are both geeks and proud of it. AND we are both gainfully employed. Being a responsible adult does not mean you can’t have fun, nor does it dictate the form your fun takes. To each his or her own.

    And to all my fellow and sister geeks: the best way to find the right person for you is to keep doing what you love. I wish you all good fortune!

  27. I’m glad someone wrote a rebuttal after I heard what happened to Jon Finkel. Jon is not only a Top 5 All Time Magic player and member of the Magic Hall of Fame, but he’s also a great person.

    To Alyssa, I’m sorry you don’t like geeks. I don’t know if you have been burned before with a former boyfriend being a ‘Magic’ player or not. That’s your choice, just like it is my choice to be attracted to the more intelligent ‘geek’ girls because I like stimulating conversation. Sure I like a girl to be cute at the very least but it is about what is on the inside that counts. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame for writing an article where you decided to pass on a relationship with a former Magic world champion.

    It’s your loss.

  28. Good on you for calling out this Gizmodo bitch, she sounds like one of the most vacuous females working in tech related fields I have heard of in a long time!

  29. WELL SAID! I myself am not all that into Magic, but I don’t hate it either, and would never consider that a dealbreaker in a relationship. Liking Paris Hilton, maybe, but never a geek trait. What people need to understand is, we are ALL geeks for something. Everyone, whether it’s Monday Night Football, Hunting, Harry Potter Books, D&D or Italian Horror films, everyone’s got something. It’s just a matter of finding stuff that either matches up or sparks conversations. My fiance and I both like D&D, Zombies, all sorts of things, but our interests are not all identical. Think about it, if the person you were dating/engaged to/married to had the same opinions on everything, liked the same movies and music, had the same favorite color, was of the same religion, same political standpoint, wore the same type of clothes, WHAT WOULD YOU TALK ABOUT? It would be like dating a copy of yourself. Diversity is a good thing. It opens minds, though admittedly this Alyssa doesn’t seem to have much of a mind to open… just my two bits.

  30. I’m a geek and a Magic player. I’ve been with the same lovely girl for 12 years. We have a deal. I don’t bother her about the Real Housewives of Wherever, and she doesn’t bother me about Magic. We bond over Tarantino movies.

    But while she may have a certain amount of disdain for my hobby, that doesn’t stop her from working her little tail off to find cards for me on my birthday. That’s because she loves me.

    Alyssa’s mistake is that she went on OKCupid, she’s not going to find what she’s looking for there.

    She needs to be on Alt.com looking for submissive men who like to be insulted and humiliated. She’s obviously into that, and if she could just admit it to herself, she might be able to get what she needs. Then she’d be happy, he’d be happy and she wouldn’t be hated on the Internet by random strangers.

  31. I’m a guy who’s Geekness revolves around 54mm Napoleonic figures. I also enjoy Steve Jackson and other games with my adult kids. Several years back FineScale Modeler magazine published a letter from a reader who said his wife was always urging him to give up his modeling hobby. When my wife read the letter her instant reaction was, “A bitch like that does no deserve a husband.” You have reminded me that for 29 year I have been a lucky man.

  32. thanks for your blog post, and especially the final paragraph. There’s a lot of truth and wisdom in those words…

    Also, for your convenience, I give you a link to a International Business Times article on this same story. It includes, among other things, two links to the gizmodo articles. One goes to the reposted original post (with Gizmodo editor comments at top) and alyssa’s modified post.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/206175/20110830/alyssa-bereznak-gizmodo-jon-finke.htm

  33. Very nice article, miss. I don’t just say that because I happen to agree with you, but because you are thoughtful, understanding, and not prejudiced. If you don’t like sports, I’m sure you wouldn’t drop a guy and write about how awful the dating experience was later if he told you he was all about football. The way I see it, games is games.

    If you really want to get hot under the collar, check out this Guyism article by blogger Chris Spags; it’s essentially the polar opposite of what you wrote here: http://guyism.com/humor/gizmodo-writer-dates-magic-the-gathering-world-champ-nerds-get-mad.html

  34. Basically, Alyssa was a hypocrite. Quite a few people are, and this is the essence of your article – pointing out that Alyssa was a hypocrite. I’ve been in more than a few relationships where, despite being otherwise reasonable people, they break up and when it comes to working out why, it basically comes down to a deal breaker that is not based on reason. No matter how much people try, there are going to be times when even the most reasonable people are simply not going to be reasonable people. That is human nature. We’re still having to deal with our instincts and emotions, even if we do try our best to override a lot of them with logical thoughts. That Alyssa stopped dating Jon Finkel for “being a geek” wasn’t wrong – but the fact that she did a hatchet job on him for it was. The first was personal and emotional, but the second was just spiteful and a face-saving gesture to try and prove to herself that she wasn’t a hypocrite, when in fact she knows deep down that she was. She knows it was an emotional reaction not a reasonable one, and she’s trying to rationalise that and justify that to make it reasonable so that she can keep thinking that she is a totally reasonable person rather than someone who does give in to her emotions at times. Yet, giving in to our emotions is human nature. All we can try and do is hope that they are the right emotions to give in to. I am just glad that for everyone there is like Alyssa, there are people there who are not – people who can understand and accept the difference between emotion and reason. If something works, it works, and if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t – but there’s no need to be spiteful about it to prove that it is someone else’s fault. If you are reasonable and the other party isn’t, people will soon notice, and that is what happened to Alyssa – she was unreasonable and got noticed for being unreasonable.

  35. “If you’re in this room, you won’t be getting a second date with Alyssa Bereznak.”

    Yes you will. As Alyssa said in her crappy hate-filled article about a guy who didn’t do anything to anyone, she went on TWO days with him.

    Anyway, girls like her are why I stopped dating seriously a decade ago. I got tired of the drama of relationships and the hassle and bother of getting into them. No amount of sex or any other “benefit” of relationships is worth the hassle and drama and time and energy. I spend mine on work, where I’m well rewarded.

    Dealing with crap like that just doesn’t make sense to me. I only needed to deal with so many insane girlfriends before I came to my senses and said “I don’t want to be like everyone else — spending all my time and energy on something so unrewarding, just because I’m afraid of being alone”.

    Unfortunately, being financially successful also means that it’s easy to find women — but they’re usually not the ones worth getting to know, either. So I love my job and I leave it at that and I’m happy. And, unlike that poor sap, I don’t have to deal with people like Alyssa.

  36. Hmm, the woman who wrote the blog does not quite realize what an idiot she is. “Being Shallow” is a bad excuse here, because she missed a BIG chance here. As a champion player, Jon probably has EVERY magic card ever made, just those make him wealthy enough to retire early. Being world champion means he doesn’t have to work, as he probably makes enough from playing or endorsments to live how he chooses. She coulda been on easy street, instead of (very probably) ruining her career. Alyssa, I salute you for the best public self destruct i have ever seen. I forsee you having lots of free time in the future.

  37. Well maybe he should try dating a better class of human being ?
    Some of my friends have dated vapid bitchy women who mock their hobbies …but they wanted hot girls
    /shrug/ not actual partners..

  38. I wish people would talk less about how much money he has! Let’s not go along with the stereotype that money=attractiveness for men. It’s desirable for a person to be able to support themselves and save money, etc., but they don’t have to be rich to be a good catch.

  39. Still playing MtG is a bit of a demerit, methinks. Because, quite frankly, Wizards has effed the game up (multi colour cards? Really? I mean, TWO colour, okay, but MULTI colour?) (no more books with those box set things?)

    Then again, my all time fave card is COALHAULER SWINE …. so what do I know?

  40. She’s one to talk. Criticizing someone else’s hobbies when she admits at the very beginning of her entry that her OKCupid profile was a result of a night of drunkenness. I love how she goes on to insult him on twitter by referring to him abstractly as a “dweeb”. Geek as a positive connotation has gained significant traction in the last decade. Dweeb, not so much. Her loss, and based on his responses I’ve read, he deserves a woman a lot better than that. If I could give him advice directly though, I’d definitely have to say not to wave the white flag on OKCupid, that’s how I met my wife. One of our weekends together in the first couple of months was me hanging out while she was the one dressed up as a dark elf in Japanese armor wielding a foam katana. That was almost 7 years ago, been married for 5, have an almost two-year old son (who already loves to roll dice, watch dragons, and look at daddy’s D&D collection, among other things), and another little one arriving toward the beginning of March.

  41. When I read Alyssa’s post, I was pretty ticked off but I’ve met a few dozen Alyssas online dating. They all have enough baggage to fill an airplane, are tired of getting hit on by total strangers and their last 2-5 guys that they met are jerks so even when they find a guy who speaks to them respectfully and treats them well they look for a reason to sabotage it. Hers was coming out and saying “He’s a Magic playing geek”! If I was a betting man I would say the common denominator is her. I’m sure Jon liked the online pub she gave him and has long since moved on from her kiddie pool to a woman who can handle her baggage.

  42. A) Jon Finkel is super hot
    B) the fact he’s so incredibly good at a card game would not have turned me off, rather it would have impressed me. a guy bragging about how much beer he can chug is a turn off. A man doing something he enjoys and that he is good at (and is completely harmless)? AWESOME!
    C) this woman is a shallow bitch

    If I ever get a date with a Jon Finkel type of guy I’ll consider it a awesome date. 😛

  43. heh, maybe im incredibly lucky but i have had much better luck 😛
    hell on my first date with this girl from okcupid, i ended up showing her into a games workshop and she walked out with the island of blood starter kit!

    though i guess girls who respond might have some inkling that im a nerd b/c im studying engineering lol..

  44. If it weren’t for those last two paragraphs (in the screenshot) I would’ve read reasonably well.

    Even moreso if it had been rounded off “so I didn’t meet my match this time but here is hoping”.

  45. When I read the post I stumbled upon: “Strike one, two and three”. She complains he still plays Magic? BITCH, YOU WERE THE ONE THAT BROUGHT THAT UP!

  46. Well, by now the White Knight has been summoned to the battlefield…

    http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/22786_To_My_Someday_Daughter.html

    Personally I found this guys article incredibly patronizing. Especially the way he calls women who dared to criticize Alyssa Bereznak “Uncle Toms” And the humongous generalizations about geeks in general (who apparently can never, ever be female).

    Its a pity he could not filter out the good points from the crap.

  47. I used to play MTG. I actually have the Finkel vs. Garfield set.
    My wife has been a talent manager in the past, so I have the enviable position of being able to talk about good-looking people and making comparisons and can have discussions with my wife about how relatively good looking people are.
    Two generalizations that are entirely shallow by me:
    1. Mr. Finkel is at least 1.5 steps in attractiveness higher than Alyssa.
    2. Ruth, the author, is also better looking than Alyssa.

  48. If I were in Alyssa’s position, I am not sure I would have gone out on a second date. You see, as she describe him, I don’t think Jon and I would have much in common. Jon might be wealthy and famous but she saw past that to his interested, likes, hobbies, etc. and compared them against hers and decided it wasn’t a match. How often to girls get accused of being gold diggers? Seems like Alyssa had an opportunity to be like that and decided against it. Good for her.

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