After Gizmodo hit piece, Magic champ Jon Finkel tells all on Reddit

finkle_630x_2

The world of Nerds erupted in a fit of frothy, collective rage Monday after popular geek culture website Gizmodo published a personal essay by former Gizmodo intern and freelance writer Alyssa Bereznak, which brutally bashes the egos of anyone who’s ever played a round of Magic: The Gathering.

The crux of the article is this: Ms. Bereznak got drunk and made a profile on dating site OKCupid. Bombarded by messages from mouth-breathers, misspellers  and misogynists, Bereznak eventually got a note from somebody “normal,” and decided to meet this average Joe in person.

Much to Bereznak’s dismay, her normal guy ended up being none other than “Jon motherf**king Finkel,” the 2000 Magic world champion who has a Magic card modeled after him and is renowned as one of the greatest Magic players in history. (He now works for a hedge fund.)

shadowmage infiltratorAfter their first date, Bereznak did what anybody would do: she googled Finkel. After finding out his Magic-laden past, she decided to give him another chance, and the pair met up for another round of drinks. That’s when things got ugly.

As Bereznak writes: “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.”

Ouch.

The admittedly nerdy Gizmodo readership instantly began blasting Bereznak as infinitely shallow, arrogant and worse. Of course, that’s likely the reaction Bereznak expected, as she concluded her piece by saying, “Maybe I’m shallow for not being able to see past Jon’s world title. I’ll own that. But there’s a larger point here: that judging people on shallow stuff is human nature; one person’s Magic is another person’s fingernail biting, or sports obsession, or verbal tic.”

The admission of Bereznak’s internal ugliness wasn’t enough to quell the growing hoard of gamers, dorks, nerds and dweebs who came to throw stones at Bereznak from the article’s comments section. Eventually, the pooling outrage overflowed onto other websites. And before too long, the proud nerds of Reddit called for Finkel to tell his side of the story in the  “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) subreddit. And today, he did just that.

“Hi people, I’m Jon Finkel. I went out uneventfully with a girl a couple weeks ago and we never spoke again,” wrote Finkel in his AMA introduction. “Then she posts about how she cant believe I didn’t warn her I was an ex magic world champion, and the internet had issues with that.”

When one Redditor asked how he felt about his personal life suddenly ending up the subject of the most-talked about article on one of the top websites in the world, Finkel said he felt “violated.”

“Even though the post itself didn’t make me look bad at all (at least I didnt think),” wrote Finkel. “Still, its sort of like someone publishing emails you wrote to your girlfriend, or posting part of your diary – it just feels wrong”

Despite the mild invasion of privacy, and ribbing he took from his friends about the article, Finkel seems perfectly fine and relatively unaffected by the piece. Bereznak, on the other hand, has been fending off a sour wash of personal attacks for the past 24 hours. Of course, the bad taste is sweetened by the fact  that her article is now one of the most talked-about pieces on the Web. And, as of this writing, it has been visited by more than 675,000 readers — a feat for which Gawker Media (which owns Gizmodo) will likely pay her handsomely. So, hey, no harm done. Right?

[Image via]

Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.
Gaming

Sony to launch State of Play videos for PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR

Sony will debut a new video program named State of Play on March 25. The first episode will focus on new PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR games, and it remains to be seen if Sony will tease the PlayStation 5.
Gaming

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild bug lets Link ignore temperature effects

A newly discovered bug in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild allows players to max out both hearts and stamina. The glitch also disables temperature effects such as the heat of Death Mountain and the cold of Hebra.
Gaming

Report: Nintendo will release two new Switch models in 2019

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo will unveil two new Switch models at E3 and release them this year. One of the models will target hardcore gamers, while the other will be budget friendly.
Gaming

Twitch streamer somehow beats Bloodborne, all the souls games without getting hit

A Twitch streamer named The Happy Hob has managed to play through all Dark Souls games, Demon's Souls, and Bloodborne in a row without getting hit a single time. He has been attempting the feat for months.
Gaming

Here are the best items a Shinobi should buy in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a brutally challenging game that requires persistent focus and a lot close calls with death. You can make things a bit easier on yourself with by purchasing important items from vendors.
Gaming

Here’s everything you need to know about MLB The Show 19

MLB The Show 19 launches on PlayStation 4 on March 26. If you're interested in finding out what's new in the latest iteration of the annual baseball sim, we've got all the details, from new gameplay mechanics to Road to the Show changes.
Gaming

Newegg slashes prices on PS4 accessories and AAA games like Anthem

Newegg is currently offering big savings on a number of games for PS4 and Xbox One, including Anthem, Metro Exodus, The Division 2, and Kingdom Hearts 3. Accessories including headsets are also on sale.
Gaming

Apple Arcade might be the new game subscription service worth signing up for

Apple Arcade will launch this fall bringing a new game-subscription service with cross-platform support for iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. At launch, the service will feature more than 100 exclusive games, with more added to the service regularly.
Gaming

Fortnite World Cup kicks off April 13 with $1 million in weekly prizes

The Fortnite World Cup kicks off on April 13 with the start of Online Opens for solo play. $1 million in weekly prizes will be awarded during the Online Open Finals, so get practicing!
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.