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Monday, October 17, 2011

Games, Airships and Laudanum! Steampunk Meets "The Guild" at Megagame-o-ramacon

The Guild -- Clara tries to fit in with steampunks at Megagame-o-ramacon.

     This year, the worlds of online gaming and steampunk fandom collide in Felicia Day's webseries, "The Guild". Rumors have it that this is the final season for this delightfully candid series about the trials and tribulations (mostly trials!) of an odd and disparate group of MMORPG players who all play "The Game" MMORPG together while trying to deal with their circumstances and with each other in real life.

     In Season 5, Episode 4 of "The Guild", one of the main characters, Clara, a game-obsessed mom, first discovers steampunk when she sees a booth at the gaming convention that the guildies have attended: "Megagame-o-ramacon". As she puts it: "It's my new favorite thing!" because of the "clock pieces, and corsets, top hats and brown and shiny bits."  We like those, too.

     The steampunk characters in The Guild seem to be stereotypes of steampunk fans exaggerated for effect (and perhaps to make a point), but the scenery for the steampunk booth at the con and the costuming for the characters shows the care that the creators took to recreate the genre. 

     I do not intend to start a spoiler post about the show, so if you are interested in watching "The Guild" and their take on steampunk (it does start out a bit less than complimentary, I will warn you, but the steampunks are good sports in the end), then watch Season 5.  (There is a semi-flying homemade airship.  That's all I'm saying!) Or if you have the time and the inclination to get to know the characters, watch the whole series from the beginning.

     From Wikipedia: episodes are available "on Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune Marketplace, and MSN Video. The webisodes were later made available on the official Guild website, YouTube, and iTunes. The webisodes are also available via DVD and on Netflix and Hulu.  Bing seems to have the best availability of episodes.

     I have watched the entire series since 2007 because it truly amuses me. Having been in their ... not shoes... their computer chairs... over the years having extensively (perhaps obsessively) played different MMORPG's, the scenarios and humor bring me lots of laughter, even if it is mostly laughter at recognizing myself in the quirky characters and some of the things that happen to them happened to me.  If "the Guild" is truly over, many people will be very disappointed, but it went out with a bang or steampunk flair.  Literally!

If you would like to purchase some of the clothes from the episode, Clockwork Couture has replicas of the fashions for sale because they designed Clara's outfit!  From their web site: "Clara's character wears our 2 Piece Victorian Traveling Ensemble, Star Floating Corset and Show Stopper Topper."

      I hope you enjoy the series.


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