Peek is a series of brief interviews of Magic personalities who support Planeswalkers for Diversity. Hallie Santo is editor of the Lady Planeswalkers Society website. She will be joining Nelson Salahub on stream at www.twitch.tv/mtgdiversity this coming Tuesday July 23 at 7 pm Pacific time.
p4d: How did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
HS: I started playing Magic about a year ago, while M13 was in stores. I had just moved to Seattle, and the only person I knew in town was a Magic player who used to play competitively. I picked up the basics quickly and was eager to learn more. When I went to Card Kingdom in search of more Magic products, an employee told me about the Lady Planeswalkers Society (LPS). From there, I started attending Friday Night Magic and local store events; and six months after playing in my first LPS tournament, I attended my first Pro Tour Qualifier.
p4d: What is your favourite thing about your local Lady Planeswalker events?
HS: I love how welcoming LPS is toward new players. When I started playing Standard outside of LPS, I ran into some competitive players who wanted to help me get better, but the advice and criticism they offered me wasn’t always constructive. For example, an opponent once asked me between games if he could see my sideboard and tell me what to bring in against him, when I would have preferred to figure it out for myself. At LPS, the more experienced players are used to interacting with newer ones on a regular basis, so we go about teaching and dispensing advice differently than most other Magic players would. Whenever I meet a newer female player at FNM, I make sure to tell her about LPS and encourage her to come by.
p4d: What do you like the most about blogging about Magic?
HS: Before I started LadyPlaneswalkers.com, I had never blogged about Magic before, but I had several years of music blogging experience. I love writing about music, but there are so many competing music blogs offering similar content that it’s hard to find your niche in the industry and establish an audience. When I’m pitching a music article, I have to constantly ask myself, “Has this been done before?” or “How can I do this differently?” When I’m writing about Magic, that’s rarely an issue. The industry itself is much newer, so the blogs, forums, and podcasts are much more specialized. At LadyPlaneswalkers.com, we create content aimed at female Magic players; not many Magic blogs can say that.
p4d: How do you view the overlap and collaboration between LPS and p4d?
HS: Our goals are essentially the same in that both groups are here to remind the community about the importance of a welcoming atmosphere for playing Magic. LPS tends to focus on gender while p4d also highlights gender identity and sexual orientation. However, both groups support the overall concept that Magic players are simply Magic players and these factors, and others such as age and (dis)ability, are irrelevant.
p4d: What can players do to make the Magic community better?
HS: I’d like to see more Magic players be more accepting of others who play the game for different reasons than they do. For example, I know some PTQ grinders who don’t take EDH players seriously, and some casual brewers who think net-decking is wrong. I’m not saying that all these people need to get together for a group hug, but they could acknowledge that their way of playing the game is just their preference and not the “best” or “right” way.
p4d: Where can people find you online?
HS: You can find me on Twitter at @halcansan. I’ve been known to live-tweet from GPs, PTQs, and prereleases (I usually attend four prereleases for Core Sets and six for expansions). LPS also has its own Twitter account (@MTGLadySociety) and Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/103040043116452/).