I found this show while looking at the top downloaded videos on Xbox Live. I remember sort of hearing about The Guild a year ago and about how it was an online-only television show that was getting a big following and how it was going to be the future of media, etc. etc. For whatever reason, though, I never sought it out to watch.
But then last week I did and after the first episode I was hooked. And you too can get hooked — if you have an Xbox it’s on Xbox Live (seasons 1 and 2), otherwise you can find the first season and most of season two (Microsoft/Xbox made a deal with the creators to exclusively have season 2 a few episodes ahead of wide release) on The Guild’s web site or YouTube or wherever.
Basically, The Guild is about a group of online gamers who are in an online guild together but up until the first episode hadn’t met each other in person. Then Zaboo, the warlock of the group, decides that he should romantically pursue Codex, the healer/priestess, in real life. Online he thought she was always flirting with him because she somehow never seemed to hit the shift key when making eyes for smileys and everything turned out to be 😉 instead of 🙂
So after Zaboo crashes at Codex’s place she calls a meeting in real life and after years (?) of playing online and talking into microphones at each other, they finally meet face-to-face. Hilarity ensues.
The show focuses exclusively on the real-life aspects of the characters’ lives. There aren’t any in-game shots and even events in the game don’t have too huge of an impact (though one season two storyline does involve some scandal around a treasure the guild finds).
As I mentioned in my 25 Things post, a long time ago I used to play these things called MUDs. They were an early version of online games but without graphics back when having a 14.4k modem was a big deal.
The first MUD I played was called Dark Saga (which was an LPMud using the TMI-2 Mudlib). I was in seventh grade or so at the time and I remember when I had the first opportunity to meet one of the “Gods” of the MUD in real life (he was a college student where I went to computer camp). I totally balked on the opportunity and didn’t. When you have online relationships like that it can be very weird to meet in person. And back in those days, there weren’t enough people online for people to form “local guilds” with people in the same geographical area, but I can imagine that if we were ever able to meet in person, it would’ve been something similar to The Guild (though maybe not as funny).
So despite the fact that I don’t really consider myself a gamer (or, maybe, a gamer-in-the-making) and I haven’t ever played World of Warcraft or Guild Wars, I could still relate to the experience and the people and the gaming aspect and found it highly entertaining. And the amount of story they manage to fit in to five-or-so-minute episodes is amazing — you really get to meet the characters. Fun times!