When video game developer BioWare set out to create a Web series based on its popular role-playing video game "Dragon Age," it went straight to one of the top names in the business.
Over the past four years, "The Guild" has gained a strong following (with 100 million views and counting), and its star and creator, Felicia Day – also known for the Emmy-award winning Web short "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" – has been referred to on more than one occasion as "queen of the geeks."
From an idea (and a show) that basically started in her garage, Day told CNN's Geek Out, "This season we had over 200 cast and crew, with amazing guest stars. We’ve had four seasons; we’re practically grandfathers in this space."
Day also credits the show's fans, who take part in "Guild" art contests and the like, as being "a creative community and not just consumers."
CNN Geek Out spoke to Day about her new series, "Dragon Age: Redemption" (which launched Tuesday), and on the state of nerd culture:
CNN Geek Out: For those unfamiliar with it, what is "Dragon Age?"
Day: It’s an in-depth role playing game. It has very character-based role play. It’s a high-fantasy world like Tolkien and definitely puts a modern twist on those traditional tropes of a fantasy world. My character (Tallis) is sort of an outcast to her people and goes on a renegade crusade to recover an escaped mage. The cool thing about the BioWare games – and the way that I tried to keep the story faithful to BioWare – is that there’s deep character building, as well as a touch of humor here and there. So it’s not as grim as you might think.
I wrote the Web series and created the character with BioWare to make sure it fit in their world. On their side, they created a piece of video game content, and it’s a whole adventure with my character. It’s kind of taking transmedia and making it a reality. You can watch my character as a real person, and then you can play with my character virtually. I thought it was a huge project to be able to have that kind of cross-platform storytelling, and I’m excited to see how people react to it.
CNN Geek Out: You've had a couple of action roles in the past, so how was this different?
Day: I wrote and co-produced and acted in it all the same time. I only did a small fraction of what big movie stars do, but at the same time it was a big challenge because I’ve never worked out or done that kind of physical training to that extent, and we had very little time to shoot, because after all, we’re on a Web series budget. We had to keep moving very quickly and stay safe at the same time.
CNN Geek Out: As someone who is asked to represent geek culture in the media, what are your feelings on how it is now seen as "cool" and something that seemingly everyone wants to be involved with?
Day: I was a geek before it was mainstream. To me it’s just a reflection of the Internet, where people aggregate around interests, and I think that’s what geekdom is. Communities are really where people are socializing online rather than face to face. So the definition of geek is really someone who uses the Internet to connect with other people. It’s not a bad thing that comics and other geek interests are being highlighted today. As a girl, I know when I was a kid, I wasn’t exposed to comics as much. Girls today are exposed to comics to the point where it’s cool to read comics or play video games, and I think that’s good for the long run for people who write comics or play video games. I know in maybe 10 years, when people have moved on, I will still play role-playing games, and I’ll still be a geek.
CNN Geek Out: And what do you think of terms like "nerd cred"?
Day: I feel like if you’re confident in what you like, if you don’t know something, just admit it. I don’t feel the need to apologize if I haven’t read all the comics in a series or played the more hardcore games. I know what I like. I feel like that’s a shaming technique that’s not particularly healthy, so I think it’s a question of being really proud of what you love and admitting the things you don’t know.
CNN Geek Out: Do you feel like geeks are portrayed more accurately in the media today than in years past?
Day: When I first started "The Guild" four years ago, many people had no idea that gamers could talk to each other online. It was the stereotype of the guy in his mom’s basement being a jerk playing video games; that was the only gamer you could see. There’s definitely a lot more quirky characters out there with geek interests represented, also a lot of writers in media or in Hollywood are geeks themselves, and now they’re able to talk about it more because it’s become more acceptable for the mainstream.
CNN Geek Out: What is the future of Web video?
Day: I think Web video has definitely come a long way in the last couple years, and there’s some very interesting things on the horizon. A lot of people are unplugging their cable and not seeing why they want to pay that much money when they only watch five shows. People don’t want to passively watch anymore; they want to interact, and I hope that bodes well for being able to make more interesting Web projects, and doing things like "Dragon Age" and keeping "The Guild" going. Hopefully that attracts the attention of people who want to make higher-budget Web series.
CNN Geek Out: What are you geeking out about right now?
Day: To be honest with you, I just renovated my garage as an office, and I'm in "buy mode" now. I’m trying to pick up the perfect objects and want to add things there to make my geek world adorable. I have a whole gaming shelf. All my comics are alphabetized now. I want to make my garage my perfect lady geek palace.
CNN Geek Out: So I have to ask, what's it like being a character in your own comic book?
Day: I can’t draw at all, so when I see myself drawn as a human being, that’s just the biggest thrill. Comic art – just the stylized nature of it – is just so inspiring. I couldn’t be more flattered. It’s definitely something I didn’t expect.
CNN Geek Out: Is there more "Guild" to come?
Day: This has been a great season, and I definitely have another story in me, so we’ll see. Most of (the guest stars) this season I just tweeted or met at a convention. That’s what’s cool about geek culture. It's being in a world where I get to meet people I admire and they admire what I do, and it’s a dream come true.
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It's definitely sad that I noticed the Templar's shield first only because I need to make one for an Aveline cosplay...
In any case, I love Felicia Day ^.^ Been following her since the Guild started.
Telengard doesn't like gingers.
I remember her on buffy.
Sara Jean Underwood wins hottest geek always.
I dont even know who she is. After googling her name, I ask what has she done other than remove her clothes for playboy?
Reading what Kevin writes for her on Attack of the Show isn't really enough to make her a geek. She hung out with football players in school, she probably never owned a NES.
That'd be like saying Olivia Munn is a geek. Dressing up like Slave Leia isn't enough to cut it, either, when you grow up as a fashion model.
I had the chance to get in some quick chit chat with Ms. Day at DragonCon. She is friendly and funny and was totally in her element among throngs of us Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans of all ages. It's great we'll be seeing more of her genuine talent soon.
"I was X before it was mainstream..." is simply born out of the human need to be special.
I was mainstream before it was mainstream.
I'm totally into underground mainstream right now. You probably never heard of it.
I prefer tributaries. Rivers are just too mainstream.
Posted on Oh so true! I've been frustrated many times wrkiong for hours, banging my head against the keyboard because I've stepped outside that feeling of flow. It's times like that when I really understand the importance of stepping back from a project and letting my self CHILL OUT! Nice Kai!
Telengard iz jelly LOL
Dude, Day is not only WAY hotter, but she's every gamer's dream... a girl who not only gets gaming, but it into fantasy and sci-fi... She is not Queen of the Geeks... she's frickin PRINCESS of the geeks... cause she's way too hawt to be a "Queen" lol.
Yes I want to date her avatar...
And she can even play with my Rod of Lordly Might...
Actually, Jeri Ellsworth is the "Queen of the Geeks." Jeri is 10x hotter, and 10x more intelligent and geeky than Felicia Day.
Posted on There's a scene in the classic film Cool Hand Luke where Luke, plyead by Paul Newman, gets into a fight with the biggest, baddest, dude in the work camp. He really doesn't stand a chance, but there's really no way out.He gets knocked down, hard, but picks himself back up. Then he gets knocked down again. And gets up again. And again. And again. Before long, everyone in the gathered crowd is yelling for him to just stay down, but he keeps getting back up.He won that fight, not by beating the other guy, but by winning over the crowd and by not giving up.I used a variation of this tactic once upon a time. Some dude tried to pick a fight with me by telling me I danced like an idiot. Well, he was right. I looked ridiculous out there on the dance floor. This wasn't news to me. So I agreed with him. He kept trying to insult me along the same lines, but, since I wasn't really offended by his observation at all, I kept agreeing with him.Needless to say, he got very frustrated and the gathered crowd quickly got bored. He just walked away.And I went back to dancing like a fool.
I had to look her up. Never heard of her. She likes circuit boards, apparently. Nothing about comic books. Nothing about working with Joss Whedon twice. Nothing really about video games. She modded a C64... I guess that'd be cool if we lived in a world where Yoshi was never born.
I think Day wins this one in a landslide, sorry. Maybe that other girl can be Queen of the Unixverse or something.
"Day: I was a geek before it was mainstream"
Can somebody shop a pair of hipster glasses on her?
NOTE: This in no way diminishes my undying love for her.
Hail to the Queen!
Good lord, she's yummy. I would crawl through a mile of broken glass to hear her fart through a walky-talky.
I would crawl through a mile of broken glass to smell the tire tracks of the truck that took her underwear to the laundry.
dire9, me meted al instante a The Designers Republic y hued en cosa de sgeondus presumo que fue a coposito para ensef1arnos el concepto funcional (enserio).Apoyareda la mocif3n sobre la funcif3n habilidad . solo si pudiera olvidar unas antiguas web del tiempo cuando flash imperaba en la web y llegue a paginas que sin ser funcional me emocionaron asta las lagrimas al mas estilo de los buenos menfas de DVD (para aya se fue la inspiracif3n del flash).Y antes que se me acabe la pila del portatil . mejor sigo actualizado mi pobre web de gato, un ejemplo de mala funcif3n habilidad, pero se biene se biene en joombla
I would crawl through a mile of broken glass to tongue the condensation on the walls of said fart.
She's cool and all, but I'm not even sure I'd brave the line at one of her con appearances.