If you haven’t read “My Brief OkCupid Affair with a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player”, go have a look; we suspect many of you have, since in less than a day up on Gizmodo it’s already flooded with comments, many of them from very, very angry geeks.
Here’s the gist: A Gizmodo intern went on a blind date with a guy, and it turned out he’s a famous Magic: The Gathering champion. Yes, he has a Wikipedia page. And yes, she linked to it, in her story explaining why she didn’t want to date him. Accusations of nerd-bashing aside, many commenters took issue with the public airing of something private (presumably without his consent, though either way, he does have seem to have a sense of humor about it). She explains in a disclaimer to the article that whereas it “sounds mean”, it’s really just a comment on the human condition, and maybe a cautionary tale. The moral of the story seemingly being: Maybe something so monumentally geeky as being the Magic: The Gathering world champion should be disclosed on your online dating profile.
Putting aside the issue of whether the story itself was fair or mean or whatever, that is an interesting question – should your geeky tendencies be part of your disclosure? Or is your particular geeky obsession just one interest out of many, even if it is kind of obsessive? My intuition is that a lot of geeks prefer to date other geeks – you don’t just want someone who will tolerate your hobbies but rather celebrate them. And maybe they’re harder to find on OkCupid than some other venues, but I imagine there are lots of girls out there who would think it is wicked cool to go out with someone just like the jilted date in this scenario.
For those of you who use online dating sites, what’s your rule of thumb for how much to disclose? Are you purposely trying to hook the people who think it will be awesome that you you’re on staff at Dragon*Con and are a world class dungeon master and build robots in your spare time, or are you hoping that whoever you get for a blind date will like you in spite of these things? Of course, you could just google “geeky dating sites” and take your pick from the already filtered-out as well!