Most of this story was me on the details with Flo on the basic pitch, but this page had a lot of Flo edits in the details, too. It definitely aligns more closely with her experience. She was the one who’d actually played enough World of Warcraft to understand the onscreen dynamics.

Flo’s frustrations with WoW culture and its politics would partly inspire certain upcoming developments, but this reflects what she considered WoW people at their best. Not every guild group has any sort of relationship, let alone the sort that might meet up in realspace. But sometimes people who game together find they like each other, and real friendship can build from there.

One thing Flo and I were very much of one mind about was that we wanted to capture some of the different approaches to texting, which I think shows a lot of the characters’ character as we meet them for the first time. Chrissie is the most thoughtful and articulate of the three, and her texts are both long and well-composed, with just a little missing punctuation at the end as she gets upset. We will soon learn one reason why she learned to be very thoughtful and considered about how she presented herself, a habit that’ll always influence her even among those who know and support her.

Daniel is close to Chrissie in compositional approach but a lot briefer, alternating between practical concerns and wry, succinct wit. “Guildies 4 lyffe” is a bit of self-conscious memespeak and not how he’d normally spell it. And then there’s Kaye, who is oddly the anti-Scipio in terms of how much she talks, how much she talks about herself, how topic-focused in general she is, and how careful a typist she is. Okay, that last one’s speculative, but I can’t imagine Scipio writing a note with too many spelling errors. This contrast is deliberate: I’ll get further into it as Kaye shows a couple more sides to her.