I am completely, painfully ignorant about gaming. I even have a hard time using “game” as a verb, but I do it because I have to. I played Magic in junior high and high school, and most of my friends still play. But after Portal I gave up. I had lost its esoteric thrill. Like Marilyn Manson. Or magic mushrooms. Or AP French. Maybe I just grew out of it, I don’t know. Anyway, as an adult I still play games. Scrabble, Tetris, poker, Cranium, even the occasional deadly bout of Twister. My friends and I are pretty boring people, sitting around drinking rum and playing Canasta. We should just get over ourselves and retire to Florida. I know. Trust me, I’m well aware. I play games. But I don’t game.
So having said that, I was honestly stunned when I fell ass-over-teakettle in love with The Guild. There are definitely a few jokes I didn’t get, but I’m big enough to admit it, and knowing is half the battle. And I have Google on my side. It’s a pretty interesting look at the culture of gaming, though. There’s no note of condescension to the uninitiated, which I like. You either get it or you don’t. And if you don’t, there’s a million other things out there that need (want?) watching. Why pander to the masses? We’re Americans. The masses are idiots. You know, en masse.
Felicia Day I knew from Buffy and Dr. Horrible. I didn’t know she was that bloody funny, though. Guess I’d always chalked that up to the Joss Whedon-ness. (No offense intended there, I know that acting is just as important as writing. Once you train your brain to listen for Whedon-style wittiness, it’s hard to go back.) But damn, that woman’s funny. And it’s a really character-driven show (can I say that without sounding pretentious? I doubt it). I feel like I know these people. Probably because every nerd knows a group of “those people.” The actors are great. No one comes off as cartoonish at all. Stereotypes, yes, for sure, but not pointless, space-filling caricatures. Plus, once you get to season five it’s a cameo-fest. Once again, I’m sure I missed some that only gamers would recognize. But from my previous nerdism: Neil Gaiman, Stan Lee, Wil Wheaton, Nathan Fillion, Brent Spiner, Eliza Dushku – all in about an hour and a half of total runtime? Hells yeah. Awesome sauce.
Did I mention that I haven’t had tv for ten years? I still don’t. I actually kind of hate tv. I love tv shows, but hate tv. It’s weird. Tv is a really cool medium. Like short stories. It’s hard to have three acts with so little time. So I buy a lot of shows on DVD. And I have the interwebs now, so I’m widening my horizons a little. Still no Netflix or anything. I live in this really strange media limbo. Television purgatory. Which is why I hate when I fall in love with a show between seasons (I couldn‘t find any info on when they’re going to start making season six, so if anybody knows please drop me an email or a tweet). I’ve shot myself in the foot like that several times. Lost, Robot Chicken, Stargate Universe (don’t judge me, I have OCD, I need the whole set, fuck off). It’s the only situation in which I can honestly say I’m glad Firefly only went one season. Don’t send me hatemail on that one, you know you’d hate to have to wait for more, too.
Ok. I take it back. I’m sorry Firefly. I didn’t mean it. Don’t be mad.
What was I saying? The Guild. Web show! Fucking brilliant. Yes, I know I’m late for the boat here, don’t think that I’m naïve or anything. This is old hat for most folks. But to me, the Luddite bookworm, it’s new and exciting. I’m just really stoked about getting to watch all these shows I’ve found online. So much geeky fun to be had. I dig the whole idea. Web shows are like distilled television, flash fiction to tv’s short stories (to just go ahead and overuse an analogy). And it’s all so very indie. Much, much respect for that. Why wait around for network approval and getting picked up and budgets and contracts and all that other bullshit? When we live in an age of just getting a bunch of your funny friends and a digital camera and doing what you love, the way you want it done, because you can? There are no excuses. Maybe that’s what I love about The Guild. It’s so sincere because there’s nothing holding it back.
Which, incidentally, is part of the reason I started this blog. I was sick of being a chickenshit, thinking in the old paradigm, waiting for something to happen to me instead of doing something for myself. I’ll say it again: There are no excuses. Thanks, Felicia Day (and legion of minions). Now if only I could be funny and pretty and rich and play the violin…
I’ll work on it. I’ll keep you posted.