Collier has never met most of his guild mates in person, but he knows two of them very well. They are his roommates, Adam Traum and Owen Nelson, both buddies he met in art school in Florida a few years back who are now his compadres in the real and virtual worlds.
In real life, the threesome lives in what Collier jokingly refers to as the “nerd tree house,” an apartment chock full of mismatching furniture, stacks of pizza boxes, ashtrays crammed with cigarette butts and empty bottles of beer and Diet Coke. The walls are mostly empty, save the Jesus action figure that’s tacked up near the kitchen – plus an Elvis cutout, a girlie calendar and a poster of martial arts star Jet Li.
Amid all of it, the focal point is the hardware: four TVs lined up in front of the couch – and 11 computers, with various computer parts scattered about. A cardboard box near the TVs holds just about every game console ever made – and a few duplicates, just in case. —Martha Irvine —Web Gaming Changes Social Interactions (AP/My Way)