I can’t tell you where or when I originally discovered The Guild, only that I binge-watched it over the course of a week. I couldn’t help but relate to Cyd Sherman’s awkwardness or fawn over how the show pokes fun at online games and gamers.
The Guild is a web series written in 2007 by Felicia Day (who plays Cyd Sherman), both of whom are gamers. The show spans six seasons, and consists of 10-12 easy-to-digest episodes that only last for about 4-10 minutes each. Day based the show on her own former addiction to playing World of Warcraft.
The show follows a local gaming guild called “The Knights of Good” who all play an intentionally generic massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) named The Game. It draws you into the small world of gamers and online friendships, which is fun to watch especially if you’ve had a similar clan, guild, or go-to group for LAN parties yourself. And, although the show has a low budget, the wonderful acting, directing, characters, and writing balance it out and honestly make it work.
Every episode starts off with the main character Cyd (whose in-game character is Codex, a priestess) discussing previous events in a vlog-like diary entry. Recaps are set outside the rest of the show’s timeline, occurring usually later that night, the next morning, or a few days later. Cyd is socially awkward, obsessive, and neurotic—a combination that’s a bigger enemy than anything she faces in The Game.
We also see snippets from the rest of the guild, which includes Zaboo, Vork, Clara, Tinkerballa (who goes by Tink), and Bladezz. Tink is selfish and downright mean sometimes, Clara is a narcissistic mom of three young kids whom she ignores while playing games, Bladezz is eye-rollingly pervy and vulgar, Vork is frugal and grumpy, and hyperactive Zaboo struggles to identify boundaries. None of them are really upstanding citizens by any means, but they’re all still charming in their own way.
Season one starts with Cyd being dropped by her therapist (whom she was seeing for a gaming addiction), while she’s gaming. She hears the doorbell ring, and it’s Zaboo who walks in with his bags, uninvited and intent on moving in after misinterpreting Codex’s chats as flirting. Conflict arises when Cyd then suggests that the guild meet up in person that day (for the first time ever) to figure out what to do about Zaboo. As the show continues, The Knights of Good battle enemies in and out of the game, including other guilds and even each other at times.
Though The Guild doesn’t have a huge budget or an A-list cast, the simple show is charismatic, engrossing, and just downright fun to watch. Want to check out The Guild for yourself? It’s currently available to watch on YouTube, and a must-watch for MMORPG fans of all varieties!
Watch The Guild
Enjoy all six seasons of the short-episode series “The Guild” now on YouTube.