Back in 2007, semi-employed actress Felicia Day, who had a minor role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, realized two things:
1.) She was addicted to the multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft.
2.) She needed to turn her addiction into a multimillion dollar business.
Actually, the second part was an afterthought. But she nevertheless parlayed her filmmaking skills into a successful career as an actress, as well as a media mogul, thanks to The Guild a funny, knowing six-season web series about video game players and the dysfunctional family they create.
It begins with Day’s character Cyd Sherman getting dumped by her therapist for excessive gaming. As the series progresses, we meet her playmates, a gaming guild known collectively as The Knights of Good. We follow the Guildees through relationship woes, roommate woes, and terrible parenting, laughing every step of the way. Storylines include fighting against another guild, the Axis of Anarchy, hilariously led by an elitist Wil Wheaton, as well as saving the game from a buy-out. And Cyd is the neurotic yet ceaselessly optimistic glue that holds them together.
As Cyd was an amplified version of Day (as we learned about Day in her autobiography, You’re Never Wrong on the Internet), the characters Day created shared exaggerated traits of the gamers she encountered: a penny-pinching rules hound. A lovelorn mama’s boy. A young griefer. A mother who lies to get in more gametime. A hot, manipulative college girl. (The character most like their real-world analog? The manipulator, according to Day.)
Over the course of the series—each episode ran between 3-12 minutes, in a total of 70 episodes—we learned to love these characters for their foibles. If you’re a gamer, you share their dedication for a game they inhabit as much as they inhabit the real world. Even if you’re not a gamer, you'll recognize their ardor. It's a reflection of our geeky selves.
The Guild is one of the the most authentic fan experience I’ve ever seen, and it’s a must-watch for any geek.
Here's the first season for you. You're welcome.