Posts tagged magic: the gathering

Friday Night Magic

About a month ago, my friend asked me if I would be interested in learning how to play Magic: The Gathering with her. I excitedly said “heck yes!” for a couple of reasons. First, my friend is new to the nerd world and I’m delighted to show her around. Second, because I have wanted to play Magic for a LONG time.

Flash back

Once upon a time when I was a little girl, I would hang out in my science teacher’s classroom during lunch. There was a group of boys who would play Magic in there. I would watch them sometimes. I liked the art on the cards and it looked like they were having fun. One time I suppressed my social anxiety enough to ask them if I could play. It was a big deal in that I was a seventh grade girl pioneering her way into this secret boys’ club. I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t think the answer would be anything other than, “sure, join us”. I was expecting the wedding scene from Fiddler on the Roof when the men and women started dancing together. What I got was, “No, that’s weird. This isn’t a girls’ game”. Yes, I’m serious. But, being 12 years old, I was only initially disappointed and then just took their word for it.

Fast forward to now, when basically all I do is sleep and play games of both the video and table top variety. Until a month ago, I still hadn’t played Magic. I had heard the unfortunate stereotypes of the players being angry rules-lawyers who spent way too much money and time on their hobby. I still kind of wanted to play, but I was worried that the rules might take a while to master (like Dungeons and Dragons) or that I would have to spend a lot of time studying strategy (like League of Legends). I didn’t have the time or inclination for any of that. My friend pointed me to the free Magic 2014 tablet game (also available on Steam), which actually taught me how to play really quickly. I like to describe the game play as “a more math-heavy version of chess with pretty pictures”. The full version of Magic 2014 is $10, but the free version is definitely enough to get you started. The tutorial was easy to get the hang of, and the game does a good job gradually increasing the difficulty as you play. After I’d become confident playing the tablet game, my friend and I went to our first Friday Night Magic draft.

There are a lot of comic book and game stores in the area who participate in Friday Night Magic. The reason we chose Space Cat ( was because they had a 50% discount incentive for new players. We got to the store and filled out our new DCI cards. Everyone was very welcoming and happy to see new players. There were a couple of other first timers besides my friend and I, including someone who had never played the game at all before. A few veteran players volunteered to help and answer any questions they could. The whole atmosphere was so friendly and welcoming that I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t expect it. We drafted, and I chose my cards from the new packs. I got some helpful tips on building a good deck from a couple different players. By the end of the night, I had a pretty brutal green and black deck populated by some hard-to-kill creatures and even a Planeswalker. I even won a couple games!

Magic 2014 was recently released in card-form, as opposed to the tablet game, and I was able to draft with the new set this past Friday. There are some new creatures, some game-changing artifact cards, and a new group of Planeswalkers to get a hold of. It’s a great way to spend a Friday night, and I’m now on a mission to spread the good word of Magic: The Gathering to the rest of my gaming friends.

Jenn Marshall
Good Idea: Writing for a Website that Caters to Nerd/Geek Culture       Bad Idea: Admitting on that site that you rejected a guy BECAUSE you considered him a Nerd/Geek

You’re a Gamer? Date Over.

This post is strictly my opinion and may not reflect the opinion of everyone at Nerds in Babeland.

Good Idea: Writing for a Website that Caters to Nerd/Geek Culture Bad Idea: Admitting on that site that you rejected a guy BECAUSE you considered him a Nerd/Geek


I don’t think I have ever ranted on this site but I am incensed. Judging from the outrage in the nerdverse, I’m not the only one. Recently a “former intern for Gizmodo” posted a scathing article on how she met and briefly dated a former World Champion of Magic: The Gathering.

For those of you that don’t know what Magic: The Gathering is, it is a collectable card game published by Wizards of the Coast. Magic can be played by two or more people each using a deck of cards and each game represents a battle between the players.

The author of the post wrote about how she decided to make an OKCupid account one night that she was intoxicated. Already, the article was off to a fantastic start. To justify her joining the site, she called it an “online dating experiment”. After several weeks of various creepy messages she received a genuinely pleasant message from a “normal” guy (italicized to foreshadow her shocking revelation) and they arranged a date.

They met for a drink and started a genuine conversation. At some point in the date, he revealed that he played Magic: The Gathering and that he was the World Champion. She decided to research him after the date.

On their second date, she brought up the topic and continued to barrage him with questions about it. After she opened up that dialog she then decided that they had nothing to talk about (even though their initial meeting started with “normal” banter). In her article she accused him of lying in his profile.

With the way the internet reacted, I’m obviously not the only person angry about this farce of an article. Yes, everyone has their own versions of deal breakers when it comes to dating. I’m not judging her for thinking that she didn’t have anything in common with him. She doesn’t.

My judgment is reserved for her accusation that he was hiding his World Championship title and therefore lying. With an online profile, you tend to include random pieces about yourself that you think of as your type. It’s not a professional resume. I don’t know who would spend hours crafting an online profile – maybe a drunk girl?

Okay, I am a little irritated about her dogging on his nerd cred. It sets everyone back. It feels like every month or so someone makes a comment about how a hot girl can’t be nerdy. Switching the gender makes this story a bit more interesting to read and a lot more depressing. Whatever it is that you enjoy in a nerdy/dorky/geeky capacity, it isn’t the only part of your personality.

What the author fails to realize is that she was having a great time with this guy and he makes a brief comment about his accomplishment and I’m sure she pictured a big red “rejected” stamp smash into his forehead. But still, she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, dinner in New York is expensive.

Obviously I was livid about this. Typically when I’m upset I enlist the email chain of awesomeness. I sent them the article and some of their replies are included below.

Marissa: In fairness, the one-man show based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s life story isn’t necessarily something I’d want sprung on me as first-date fodder either. But I’m not surprised she’s single.

Seth: My issue is with her accusing the guy of lying on his profile. He never lied, unless he said “Hi, my name is Josh and I DEFINITELY DO NOT PLAY MAGIC BECAUSE ONLY LOSERS PLAY MAGIC AND I AM A SOCIALLY SUCCESSFUL HIP URBAN PROFESIONAL.”

Marissa: Unless OKCupid specifically asks you to divulge your nerd/geek tendencies, there’s no lying. The only lying going on is the difference between the person she IMAGINED/WANTED him to be, and the person he actually is. And all the MTG “offensiveness” is bull. Would she expect someone to dump her for wearing an ironic (kind of but not really) New Kids on The Block t-shirt? Who does she think she is, and what does she think she deserves is the question?

Marissa: I just hope that all those guys out there complaining about a girl who judges them, aren’t busy judging another girl by similar standards.

Seth: Clueless hypocrisy is a basic ingredient to online relationships, isn’t it?

Ali: Now you’re just saying smart things to get quoted, aren’t you…

I was originally not going to write anything about this as I loathe to give her anymore publicity, but I found something on twitter that hurt my heart.

@Jonnymagic00: “I know there are a lot of younger guys out there who are thinking, “I can’t let girls know I play magic or they won’t think I’m cool.’”

This was posted by the man who she didn’t mention by name but was easy to find. He doesn’t hide his gaming. It’s surprising that she waited so long to Google him when she encouraged him to Google her. I doubt if she realizes that her lack of interest was evident before he even laid his Magic cards on the table.


For the original, unedited post

For the US post.

Jon Finkel opened up a Reddit IAMA/Ask me anything page on Tuesday morning on Reddit answering the questions he could about the article.

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