Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Magic: Can be a Little Sensitive

Magic: Can be a Little Sensitive

Last year, I came across this wondrous blog post of a woman's date with a geek champion. Yes, I am late to the discussion. Perhaps you've heard of this little story as it created a particular stir; hell, it splashed unto Wired, CBS and Forbes. Simply put: Alyssa Bereznak, tech blogger, went for online date with guy, who turn out to be a Magic:the Gathering (MTG) champion, Jon Finkel . Upon hearing this, she lost interest and posted on Gizmodo, you know a tech blog, a rather tasteless commentary on the chap. This was last summer and really, the only remains of this spat are the occasional Alyssa Bereznak memes. Still, the underlying thought: Despite the rise of geek/nerd/dork culture, do geeks, and in particular Magic players, face the dating world like its populated with jocks and cheerleaders.
Are you really legendary if you can humiliate a nerd?

General undesirable dating qualities are quite reasonable such as animal cruelty, human cruelty, Snookism, etc. but MTG?. Come on, should Snookism and MTG be on the same list? If you think so, then you're probably a symptom in an American cultural blight. Perhaps MTG players are more likely than Snookistic players to have inadequate social skills. Although not as annoying and as strong fist/face magnetism. If anything, MTG and inadequate social skills fits into that often forgotten 'correlation is not causation.'
Do you think 'Toddlers &Tiaras' Moms would do a better job?

LAWeekly and Forbes pointed out, she was simply troll baiting. The basic strategy in troll baiting is make a statement to garner sensational, to the degree of venomous hate, attention. All engineered to garb that all important view count number. Forbes called Bereznak her out on this because let's face it: MTG fanatics and tech blogs go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Just less tasty. Oh, did it garner that number. First day of posting; the view count was over 500k. I promise, no more memes. She engineered a piece to strike the MTG fanatics back their high school memories. While her friends at LAWeekly, do admit she might have done some baiting; they do not condemn but play her as a victim. Troll bait style writing is as respectful as campaign smearing. Seriously LAWeekly, how do you fucking defend campaign smearing? Do you really what the internet to devolve further to the depths of yellow journalism?

Yellow journalism eventually get us here...supposedly

The more important issue at hand is what the backlash towards Alyssa Bereznak tells us about MTG fanatics. Guys, seriously. Who cares how a tech blogger said about her love life? And, are you not a bit suspicious that she posted this love opinion in a goddamn tech blog? Where us MTG fan/fanatics are more likely to view this particular post. Granted, the post is on online dating but not about the issues that are important, such as online stalking/harassment. Instead, it is bit condescending towards geeks but it is a tech blog on the Gawker network. Gawker, in case you do not know, is a media site priding itself in gossip and such. Hmmm, a pattern perhaps? There is no reason to loss our shit over something as fleeting as gossip. But like gossip, this love opinion is consequential because of the emotions attached to it. It reveals a self-esteem issue. With the gift of anonymity, we can lash out our anger without the backlash. But why should we? Just let it be and go on to something better.

Also, Wired and CBS condemnation of the post purely for the shallowness of Bereznak is somewhat self defeating. Most readers can pick up on the shallowness of her post. So, why do we need to point it out? The more important question is: why condemn? There was enough of a tidal wave of outrage. There is no need for their voices. If anything, they took the bait and made it much worse by extending the spectrum of audience that would not normally visit the Gizmodo. All this do is made Bereznak and her bosses a bit more happy. Sometimes, ignoring a problem is the solution.

Not how troll baiting works

Posted by Richabob

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