In my recent post on games writing I made the assertion that podcasts will overtake text as the preferred source of news and opinion online. Over the course of each week I spend an entire day’s worth of time listening to podcasts. Not with my full attention, mind — I multitask. I listen to podcasts while playing games, while I browse the web, and while I eat. Listening to podcasts is, for the most part, an auxiliary activity. There are a few select shows for which I make an effort to devote special attention; I’ve decided to share.
Buzz Out Loud is a daily technology news podcast from CNet.com. Each episode is thirty to forty minutes long and is hosted by Tom Merritt with two or more others from a rotating group of regular guests. BOL has become a part of my routine; I listen to or watch the show with my morning coffee while I scroll through my RSS reader. As such, it’s my first stop for tech news and opinion. I still subscribe to the news feeds of sites like Engadget and Arstechnica, but much of what’s discussed on BOL every day is picked from their headlines anyway; it’s like a tech news “best of.”
Out of The Game is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by any combination of the gaming media lumaries Jeff Green, Shawn Elliott, Robert Ashley, N’Gai Croal, and Luke Smith. I enjoy the perspective that each of these individuals bring to their discussions, as they’re all former games writers. Shawn works at 2K Boston, Jeff at EA LA, and Luke at Bungie. Robert pursued a music career and N’Gai is a creative consultant to game developers. The crew’s discussions are born from the simple prompt, “what have you been consuming?” This can be the consumption of any form of media: books, film, television, music, comics, and of course video games.
The Bombcast is the official podcast of GiantBomb.com, a source of video game news and reviews and home to a massive user-created database. Episodes are hosted by Ryan Davis and he is joined by Jeff Gerstmann, Brad Shoemaker and Vinny Caravella. The Bombcast follows a fairly standard video game podcast format beginning with a “what are you playing?” segment, followed by news, and ending with listener e-mail. What makes this show remarkable and my favorite video games podcast are its personalities. Ryan, Jeff, Brad and Vinny worked together at GameSpot for several years before starting their own website in 2008. As such, they play off of each other well in conversation which provides for a very entertaining two hours every Tuesday.
Keith and The Girl is a free, daily, unscripted comedy podcast that has been in production since March of 2005. Comedian Keith Malley and his girlfriend, singer Chemda Khalili, host the show from their home in Queens, New York, where they and their guests begin every show with a prayer and discuss current events, comedy, relationships, the KaTG community, and the inevitable robot uprising; gossip is every Thursday with regular guest Patrice. The show’s guest-list includes such comedians as Jesse Joyce, Greg Giraldo, Christian Finnegan, Joe DeRosa, Marc Maron, and Doug Stanhope. Keith and The Girl has affected my life in a way no other single brand of media ever has. Besides making me laugh daily, once in a while, shit gets real. For example, when Chemda confronts Keith about his alcoholism (#39, #992), or the time Chemda’s brother was on the show talking about his suicide attempt (#649). Much like Buzz Out Loud, it is a part of my daily routine. I listen every night just before going to bed; it’s like a punctuation mark for my day.