Saturday, September 3, 2011

Once Upon a Time

I know you’ve probably heard by now.

Honestly, I’m surprised that it took my roommate telling me for me to find out: a writer from Gizmodo went on a blind date with someone she met on OkCupid who turned out to be Jon Finkel, current world champion of Magic: The Gathering. As it happens, Ms Gizmodo wasn’t too impressed by that. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

She’s rather annoyed. Seems “just like you’re obligated to mention you’re divorced or have a kid in your online profile” (are you?) someone should also be required to disclose any geeky world championship titles. Just like that, Jon had gone from being a charming, handsome professional to a geek. Just a geek. And that’s a bad thing, you know.

She then advises people to Google the hell out of their next on-line date.

Who would have thought that such a thing, posted on a technology blog, wouldn’t have gone over well.

We’ll ignore the was-it-right-for-her-to-call-him-out-by-name question and jump right to the next: should one disclose their geeky interests outright? Is it something to be ashamed of? Are you your hobby?

Here’s a confession: I’m single and I’m a geek. Furthermore, I’ve used on-line dating sites and on those sites I've made it pretty damn clear what my idea of a fun Friday night in entails. To me, since gaming is a big part of my life I feel that it is indeed fair to put that out in the open but this article got me thinking - if I were a man, would I be so transparent? Because women are still considered a minority within the gaming community I have found that letting my geek flag fly hasn’t really been a hindrance. At least, not when you consider the type of men I'm attracted to.

Men, on the other hand, still live with the stigma of “gamer”. It’s that image of the pale, overweight man sitting alone in his parents' basement playing World of Warcraft or the table full of nerds playing Magic drinking Mountain Dew and eating Cheetos. That’s an image that male gamers have been fighting for ages and it seems to be the one stereotype that has worked in favor of female gamers.

That certainly doesn’t make this any less of a shitty situation for Mr. Finkel and other gamers who find their dates running to the door when they find out they’d rather spend the evening at home with a game than at a bar.

That being said, should you read this Jon, I think you’re pretty badass.

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