Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Guild

The other night I was scanning the iTunes store looking for new television shows to download when I came across a web series called The Guild. The pilot was free so I decided to take a chance and check it out. I had never heard of the series so I went into the pilot cold with zero expectations. When the first episode was over I was happy to know that I now had a new series to add to my list of "must watch" shows.
The Guild is an independent web series following the fictional day-to-day lives of seven online gamers who spend all their time in front of their computer screens playing a MMORPG. The guild is called the Knights of Good and the members include: Vork, Bladezz, Tinkerballa, Clara, Zaboo, and Codex.

Each episode, which varies in length from 3-8 minutes, begins with a webcam vlog by Codex (Felicia Day) where she brings the viewer up to speed on what happened in the prior episode and then sets up the events that will take place in the remainder of the show. Although the show centers around the group's involvement in an online multi-player game, the episdoes are written in such a way as to offer something to viewers with no familiarity with such forms of entertainment. The majority of the series focuses on the guild's offline activities, including the guild assisting one member in getting out from under the thumb of his overprotective and controlling mother, to chronicling Codex's awkward attempts to woo her new stuntman neighbor. It's a look at the personalities that make up the online gaming community and how, through years of acting as an organized gaming entity, these personalities come to develop lasting friendships.
While it's true that the series is geared towards gamers and card-carrying-members of the geek community, I belive most viewers will find the humor refreshing and the character personalities are truly something to behold, drawing from a wealth of gamer stereotypes.

The Guild is the creation of actress and avid gamer Felicia Day. After years of gaming, Day decided to turn her love of video games into something a bit more productive, leading her to write a pilot originally created for television. After concluding that the show's premise targeted a niche audience as opposed to a mainstream viewership,it was decided to turn the show into a web series instead, a decision that proved to be very lucrative in the long run. In addition to being an award-winning series, the show has it's own line of merchandise, three seasons of DVDs, a distribution deal with Microsoft, and in March of 2010 the show was adapted into a three-issue comic book series from Dark Horse Comics. Not bad for a show that started on YouTube.

What I like most about the show, and find most refreshing, is the presence of three female leads. Up until this point the average gamer was depicted as an overweight male in his late 20s or early 30s who may or may not have seen a naked woman that he didn't have to pay for. It's about time someone spotlighted the female gamer.

If you're interested in checking out something new with a sharp sense of humor, give The Guild a try.

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