Peek #17 : Violet Edgar

 

Violet Edgar is a Level 2 Magic Judge and American expat living near Stuttgart, Germany. She’s transgender, and credits Magic and Judging with giving her the confidence she needed to come out as such. She is a champion of diversity in Magic, especially for LGBTIQ individuals, and was recently interviewed at Grand Prix Utrecht. More information about her can be seen in that interview here.

       p4d: How did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?

Violet: I first learned about the game from the June ‘95 issue of Computer Gaming World where they were previewing the Microprose game. I instantly knew I needed to try the game, and, a few months later, I discovered a few people in my high school who played. I’ve been hooked ever since!image-1
Which I just realized, was almost exactly 20 years ago. Happy Magicverssary to me!

       p4d: What would you like to see Planeswalkers for Diversity accomplish?

Violet: I think one of the limiting factors to how many people of various minorities attend Magic events is a perceived image of “the average Magic player”. The image of the unkempt, socially awkward Magic player who sneers at women and flips tables has become somehow ingrained in pop culture. And I’d like to see P4D help change that perception.

       p4d: Have you ever struggled during judging with people not taking you serious because of being a woman or because of being trans?

Violet: I can’t say I have, at least not yet. People in the communities I’ve judged in so far have been, on the whole, friendly and respectful. I’ll be interested to see if I have any issues with that in the future as I judge more events, especially GPs, where people from different cultures might have different attitudes toward LGBTIQ folks.

 

       p4d: How do you think the Magic community could become more open to new and diverse players?

Violet: I feel that there are three big factors that are keeping Magic from being as diverse as it could be: There are systemic biases keeping minorities out of the game, there is a lack of representation of minorities in the public face of the game, and there are hostile environments that sadly persist in a lot of places the game is played. The first problem is a social one, one that we can all individually do our part to fight against. While we can do our part to improve visibility by being present at events and holding P4D events at our local stores, the big picture is only going to change with the support of Wizards and the bigger sites and TOs – which is, thankfully, already starting to happen.

The third, though, is something that the P4D and the community at large can actually change, and should work hard to. Look at their own behaviours, the spaces they play in, the way they treat players of minorities, whether intentionally or not. A little bit of self-reflection can really effect a lot of good, and I encourage as many people in the community as possible to do just that.

 

       p4d: Do you think that Magic could become for others what it was for you and help them find their inner strength they may need, whether it be for their sexuality, gender identity, or even things as simple as dealing with their anxiety?

Violet: I absolutely think it can! Magic is many things to many people, but for a lot of folks it’s very much a way to express themselves, to meet other people in a friendly, safe environment. I’ve heard countless stories of people who have overcome shyness and social anxiety, depression, family issues, and many more personal obstacles thanks to the game and the community that surrounds it. I hope more people can find their inner strength, their voice, as a result of playing the game, and I try to do my best to show people that that is possible.

p4d: Where can people find you online?

Violet: I have a blog at rainbowvale.wordpress.com, I also tweet @MTGViolet, and I can be contacted through the p4d Facebook group. If you’re a judge, you can also reach me through JudgeApps, and, if you’re not a judge, you can get in touch with me and I can help you change that.

 

Peek #16: “Doc” Gabe R.

 

Image (1)Doc (aka Gabe R.) is a law student and popular Magic: The Gathering Online streamer who is mostly known for limited and his love of fine beers. Doc streams 5 nights a week: mostly draft, but some standard, and prides himself on keeping his chat classy.

p4d: How did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?

randomgabeDoc: My cousin introduced me to the game. He was 13 and I was 6, so I thought it was about the coolest thing I’d ever seen. That was during Visions, and I’ve taken a few breaks since then, but I’ve never stopped being hooked.

p4d: What do you like most about streaming Magic: The Gathering?

Doc: The interaction with my viewership. I wouldn’t play nearly as much Magic Online if it weren’t for my stream. That’s actually why I started streaming: it was boring to just play by myself. I like conversation, and I think Magic is meant to be a social game as well as a strategic battle.EhjPdgp

p4d: With everything that you have on your plate, do you ever sleep?

Doc: I get about 5 hours a night on average.

p4d: What would you like to see Planeswalkers for Diversity accomplish?

Doc: Any progress in the direction of getting a more diverse player-base is good for the game in general. Specifically, as a Spike I would love to see initiatives like this one encourage more women and other wi-fiveunderrepresented groups to compete at a professional level and ensure that their diversity is a non-factor for their experience.

p4d: We know you’re a huge fan of craft beers. What is your favourite craft beer to drink while streaming?

Doc: My favorites are as follows:

  1. Petrus Winter Ale #9 (near impossible to find in the US, and it’s been about 3 years since I’ve had it)hipsterdraft
  2. Petrus White Oak Aged Pale Ale (a VERY sour pale, also difficult to find in the US but not impossible)
  3. Founders Breakfast Stout (Oatmeal Chocolate Stout, easily the best beer brewed on this continent)

p4d: Where can people find you online?

Doc: I stream at  www.twitch.tv/sgdoc and tweet at www.twitter.com/mtgodoc – my usual schedule for streams is in my FAQ below the video on my Twitch page.

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Peek Archives

B

Brian Braun Duin #5

Derek Boyko #6

C

Erin Campbell #2

 

D

Kathleen De Vere  #10

“Doc” Gabe Reale #16

I

Inkwell Looter (Josh Frankel) #4

K

Sam Killermann #9

L

David Leavitt #11

Feline Longmore #13

M

Tom Martell #7

Allison Medwin #8

Tifa Meyen #1

S

Nelson Salahub #12

Hallie Santo #3

MJ Scott #14

T

Gerry Thompson #15