Talking Gaming With Satine Phoenix, Part One

Satine Phoenix might be the most recognizable woman in the game industry. Her popular video series GM Tips, regularly has about 100,000 views per episode. She's a GM for D&D's official Twitch channel, where she co-created Maze Arcana and DMs the popular Sirens of the Realms stream, in addition to her career as a model. artist and cosplayer. She also created both DrawMelt and DnDMelt at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, founded CelebrityChariD20 and co-created the graphic novel series New Praetorians, and among other projects. With so much going on and convention season starting, Satine was gracious enough to carve some time out of her busy schedule to talk about gaming.


As expected, Satine is a gamer through and through. "Gaming is in my blood," she said. "I've been obsessed with board, card and RPG games since I was a tiny elfling. Some of us are just wired for it."

As a multi-talented Renaissance woman, it would be easy for her work in art, comic books, etc. to dominate her schedule, but Satine makes time for gaming, on and off camera, for a very simple yet important reason. "It's all about Play," she said. "Creating stories whether it's in art or comics, novels or tabletop games, it's all equally play to me. Tabletop games are the best because I get to play with others. We make stories and adventure deep into new experiences as a team."

"As a player," Satine continued, "I enjoy being surprised and working out puzzles with my friends. As a GM I enjoy providing a playpen for my friends' imaginations. It is escapism, it's creativity in storytelling without the restraints a company puts on you, it's making new experiences, it's staying young. I'm in it for all of the reasons!"


The definition of a "good" game session can vary widely but at its core it's about creating an experience so since she's a celebrity GM it made sense to ask Satine how she tries to create a good session for public or private games. "I ask the players a lot of questions about their character and the team as a whole before the game even starts. I let the players tell me why they are together, other experiences their group has had, things they lost, how they worked through things together," she said. "It takes at least a half an hour of talking and coming up with backstory together to form a bond. The players are more attached to the experiences (instead of their characters) this way. They actually seem to be more willing to sacrifice themselves for one another when I use this method of pre-bonding."

When it comes to introducing new people to RPGs, Satine says, "There is not a one-size-fits-all method. As a GM, I find it works best to talk to the player and ask them what they want out of the game, what kind of expectations they have. After listening to them I explain how I approach the game and the table specific rules. Be clear with your expectations. Clear communication is the key to a happy table."

Gaming has been more than fun or a career for Satine. It's also been helping her heal from serious issues, as she's going to explain in her upcoming book, Mirror Into the Maze. "It's part autobiography, part workbook on how to overcome PTSD by playing D&D. It's my journey in overcoming my childhood trauma by creating the character that would allow me to defeat my own monsters from 8 years old into the woman I am today."

Speaking of women, Satine has some advice for women in the industry: "Do by doing. Don't let anyone tell you 'you can't' because the truth is: You can."

contributed by Beth Rimmels
 
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Beth Rimmels

Comments

dave2008

Legend
Thank you for sharing. I don't watch or following any of these platforms, so it is nice for me to get in touch with broader community with articles like this. And I think there a few helpful DMing nuggets in there to boot!
 
She brings the sexy back into D&D, we need more sexy in D&D ;-)
Met her at Origins, she is a great ambassador for D&D and table top gaming, particularly empowering for female and gender questioning players.
 

Curmudjinn

Explorer
I'm honestly surprised she's gotten so much backing from the professional community (and the official twitch channel) due to her.. Background.. But good for her. If they don't care and she can keep her career and enjoyment of D&D moving forward, I'm happy for her.
All kinds love games.
 

Von Ether

Adventurer
I get the impression that she has a real passion for the hobby to the point that she wants to help build the community. More power to her!
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
She brings the sexy back into D&D, we need more sexy in D&D ;-)
Met her at Origins, she is a great ambassador for D&D and table top gaming, particularly empowering for female and gender questioning players.
Do we really...


#chainmailbikini

People feeling sexy, empowered and comfortable with themselves is always a positive... BUT most of the RPG community certainly doesn't feel that way and certainly don't look like that!

And when I read of a name like Satine Phoenix I think that must surely be a... And guess what... The same reaction would have happened if it was a male with the handle like Jaxx Hefty Hammer... Just how is the average female (playing RPGs) going to identify with a model/actress/stripper/pornstar? Just how many guys are identifying with Vin Diesel just because he's a good looking actor playing D&D? They are welcomed because good looking succesful people can also be nerds at their core.

Just how many 'average' looking people are there on the Geek & Sundry shows? Are there any ugly people on there? Now compare that to the faces of the visitors at cons like GenCon... It's a business that is pulling on certain 'strings' with it's fan base and it certainly NOT identifying with the people on the shows...

While the photo, and model on that photo are beautiful, no contention there. If you want people to look beyond your sexiness, maybe take a photo that isn't over the top... I don't see photo's of Matt Colville in a loincloth, a mullet and a big... Sword... Promoting his KS for his book/stream. If he did, how many would take that seriously?

As for her background *shrugs* she didn't harm anyone (who didn't want it ;-) so that's not our business imho. But I could see parents not wanting 'their' girl taking her as a role model.

Never heard of her before, on the Youtube channel she has a pleasant voice and gives decent advise, although maybe a little bit heavy on the acting side for my tastes (as far as I saw).
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
People feeling sexy, empowered and comfortable with themselves is always a positive... BUT most of the RPG community certainly doesn't feel that way and certainly don't look like that!

And when I read of a name like Satine Phoenix I think that must surely be a... And guess what... The same reaction would have happened if it was a male with the handle like Jaxx Hefty Hammer... Just how is the average female (playing RPGs) going to identify with a model/actress/stripper/pornstar? Just how many guys are identifying with Vin Diesel just because he's a good looking actor playing D&D? They are welcomed because good looking succesful people can also be nerds at their core.

Just how many 'average' looking people are there on the Geek & Sundry shows? Are there any ugly people on there? Now compare that to the faces of the visitors at cons like GenCon... It's a business that is pulling on certain 'strings' with it's fan base and it certainly NOT identifying with the people on the shows...

While the photo, and model on that photo are beautiful, no contention there. If you want people to look beyond your sexiness, maybe take a photo that isn't over the top... I don't see photo's of Matt Colville in a loincloth, a mullet and a big... Sword... Promoting his KS for his book/stream. If he did, how many would take that seriously?

As for her background *shrugs* she didn't harm anyone (who didn't want it ;-) so that's not our business imho. But I could see parents not wanting 'their' girl taking her as a role model.
Really? You're shaming her for her appearance and name? EN World is an inclusive community. That means not shaming women because of how they look. This post is not acceptable.
 
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thzero

Community Supporter
Satine Phoenix might be the most recognizable woman in the game industry.


Who? Superlatives like this aren't really useful. Really, there is a bigger wider world of gaming outside the small 'we produce and/or podcasts' world.
 

Gradine

Final Form
[/COLOR]Who? Superlatives like this aren't really useful. Really, there is a bigger wider world of gaming outside the small 'we produce and/or podcasts' world.
You are severely underestimating the size of that "youtube and/or podcasts" world. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the superlative either but it also wouldn't be wrong to say that she's a significant and extremely popular individual within the industry.
 
I had not heard of her prior to her stepping into the GM Tips role formerly occupied by Matt Mercer. But since then, I’ve certainly been inspired by her musings, those of her guests, and her sheer enthusiasm for the game.
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
Cergorach you conflate two different things.

The people at CR and indeed this presenter are actually all good at two things - the art of D&D, and presenting the game in a good light, as the fun group challenge it is.

Your point about appearance is entirely general. The vast majority of presenters, actors, media personalities and celebrities are physically attractive and/or charismatic, unlike the majority of humanity. This has nothing to do with D&D, and in no way detracts from someone's ability to do what CR and Satine (and her players) do.

Whilst I sympathise that there is always the possibility that more average looking people could be involved at the media front end of the game, this is true of every form of entertainment media, and I don't see you complaining about that.

Humans are creatures of habit, and most of us react subliminally better to good appearance - whether it be physique, facial configuration, choice of clothes or hairstyle. Ergo, we are all a bit shallow, and can't help ourselves even if we know we are.

Fix the human race as regards 'judging a book by it's cover' before pointing that at anyone particular eh?

Much better to judge on ability and forget the rest - because in terms of ability, every person or group you mentioned does very well in this regard.

Anything else is like judging a theory postulated by a particle physicist as unworthy because he's got good pectorals and a square jaw - ergo, ridiculous.
 
High five

Really? You're shaming her for her appearance and name? EN World is an inclusive community. That means not shaming women because of how they look. This post is not acceptable.
Morrus, while I don't agree with everything you say or do...on this i give you 457 high fives. This spectacular woman is amazingly awesome. Her talent and desire for DnD is inspiring. Who cares about what her background might be. She builds the DnD community, showing that women can be strong and powerful in this amazing game we love.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Morrus, while I don't agree with everything you say or do...on this i give you 457 high fives. This spectacular woman is amazingly awesome. Her talent and desire for DnD is inspiring. Who cares about what her background might be. She builds the DnD community, showing that women can be strong and powerful in this amazing game we love.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of the US population will hold her background in porn against her.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
I've watched several of her videos on YouTube, and I love her voice and enthusiasm. It comes across as completely sincere, which I think is important, but she also has interesting guests who have interesting things to say about our favorite hobby.

Sure, the first thing I thought when I heard her name was: "That sounds like the name of a pornstar"... and much to my surprise apparently she does have a history in porn.... but so what? Dungeons and Dragons is a hobby for everyone.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Unfortunately, a significant portion of the US population will hold her background in porn against her.
And yet no one holds her background in Software Development against her. Go figure.

Seriously I can't think of a single reason why anyone's previous careers would stop me form looking at their current work and forming my opinion of it.

Oh and for the record, my opinion is that it contains good, enthusiastic GM tips that will be helpful for a lot of games.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
And yet no one holds her background in Software Development against her. Go figure.

Seriously I can't think of a single reason why anyone's previous careers would stop me form looking at their current work and forming my opinion of it.

Oh and for the record, my opinion is that it contains good, enthusiastic GM tips that will be helpful for a lot of games.
There are past jobs and there are past jobs that were having sex with people for money. You don't understand why some may view being a prostitute and being a coder as a bit different? Especially considering the harmful effects of porn on women and developing kids being bombarded with it.
 

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