The sad reality is that I don’t listen to as many gaming podcasts as I used to, mostly because my favorites (‘Have Games, Will Travel’, it’s sequel ‘For a Few games More’, Sons of Kryos and the Durham 3) are more or less done and many of the remaining ones I enjoy are nearing completion (Ryan Macklin’s Master Plan), intermittently updated (That’s how We Roll) or in unknown status (Theory from the Closet).
There are still a few consistent ones. I try to stay up with Voice of the Revolution, the IPR podcast, but I admit I am not too diligent about it, partly because I track a lot of that stuff through other channels. 2d6 feet in a Random Direction is always solid, but after that I taper off. There are several good podcasts I check up on regularily, bt don’t subscribe, notablye: The Ogre Cave, Independant Insurgency, The Game Master Show, Canon Puncture, Stabbing Contest and All Games Considered. They’re all solid, and I keep hearing great things about Return to Northmoor, but the problem is I kind of got burned when I branched out and started looking for other gaming podcasts. I found one, which shall remain nameless, that really put me off the whole thing. Listening to it went something like this:
Host 1: So, I enjoyed the writing on this game, but I think it meandered a bit.
Host 2: I agree. The author clearly had some solid ideas, but wasn’t really clear on how to express them.
Host 3: I JUST TOOK A SHIT IN YOUR FOOD!
H1: The good news is a lot of the confusion doesn’t actually come up in play.
H2: Howso? It seems like it would really throw things off.
H3: SERIOUSLY GUYS, I MADE POOP RIGHT IN THE STEW!
H1: A lot of the confusing stuff handles edge cases that really didn’t come up at the table.
I’ll spare you any further transcription. The bottom line is that I’ve ended up feeling a bit alienated from gaming podcasts, and given the sheer volume of them, I’ve been hesitant to dip my toes back in the water because sorting through them promises to be daunting at best and outright painful at worst. This makes me feel crappy because there are many I’m genuinely curious about (Walking Eye, Eddy Webb’s White Wolf Podcast, Open Design, Dial P for Pulp, Green Ronin’s Podcast, other’s I’m totally forgetting).
I also have a little less time for Podcasts these days. I changed jobs a while back, and my commute is shorter now, and that throws a wrench in my listening habits. It definitely makes me much more time sensitive, and it attracts me to the 5 minute podcasts of the Grammar Girl or Get It Done Guy, which i can mainline much more easily. Anything over a half hour is a commitment I am hesitant to make. That said, if I find something good, I will commit to mainlining it, and I’ve been working through three seasons of Terry O’Reilly’s “Age of Persuasion” podcast and enjoying the hell out of it.
And that, by the by, tangentially touches on something about podcasts. Gaming is the biggest hobby in my life, and a huge part of my life in general, and as a result, I get less out of 15 minutes of gaming talk than I do out of 15 minutes talking about something I don’t already know intimately. There are lots of gaming podcasts I enjoy as I would a friendly conversation, but which I’m only going to get so much out of the time spent. This is no sleight to those podcasts; as much as it would be nice if every media was tuned to my taste and needs, that’s not a reasonable expectation. But it does mean that gaming podcsts have a harder time fighting for a slice of my attention as a result.
The ones that succeed have, to get all marketing-ey, a unique selling proposition. Things like Paul Tevis’s depth of boardgame knowledge, Chris Hanrahan’s hands-on retail experience, or nearly anyone’s genuine passion for a specific topic are what I need to elevate a podcast from “this is good” to “I need to be listening to this”.
That said, I’m open minded. Suggest a podcast in the comments. Whichever one gets the most suggestsions, I will commit to giving it a serious listen.