Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Gaming Podcasts...

There are currently about 16 podcasts that I subscribe to, some are as regular as clockwork, others are irregular, aside from those 16 there are a litany of others I have listened to.  

Podcasts are a fantastic medium, with the variety available they provide the opportunity to listen to discussion of a wide range of topics.  I listen to podcasts as I drive to and from work, when I’m working in the garden, and any other opportunity I get.  Broadly speaking the podcasts I listen to at the moment fall into four broad categories, gaming podcasts, history podcasts, science podcasts and technology podcasts.

Over the last 10 years or so I have listened to a great many more podcasts than the 15 I subscribe to at the moment, it is a simple fact that there are simply so many, on such a variety of topics, that I could easily add another 50 or more to my listening queue - but I would never get around to them all.  Those listed here are simply the ones that I enjoy at the moment, they are by no means the only, nor even necessarily the best of their type.

Gaming Podcasts (in alphabetical order):

A podcast by Mark Jackson and a variety of co-hosts.  Boardgames to Go is an irregular podcast which manages to cover a range of interesting topics and ideas and does so intelligently and engagingly.  Mark tends to favour euro-games, but it is the different topics discussed that makes this a podcast I enjoy listening to.  

Probably the podcast for the board gaming hobby, Tom Vasel and Eric Summerer are the inestimable hosts of this evergreen show.  In fact the Dice Tower, with its litany of video reviews, its network which seems to be bent on taking over the world (in a good way) and general steadfastness is probably more of an institution than a simple show.  Truth be told I don’t watch video reviews, and I only listen to a handful of the shows on the Dice Tower network (not because they lack quality, but simply because I lack time), but nonetheless The Dice Tower stands tall as the triumphant monolith whose shadow touches all other gaming podcasts.

The Dice Tower is more of a variety show than most others, with a range of contributors from around the world (myself an occasional example).  This variety, along with their focus on what’s happening in the world of gaming and the weekly Top Ten lists, make for an excellent show.  Tom and Eric are affable and enjoyable hosts, and it’s all around an excellent look at the world of board games.

How can I not list my own humble podcast in amongst this list of gaming podcasts?  Donald Dennis and I discuss gaming from the point of view of the classroom and the library.  I’ll leave it to any listeners to pass judgement on whether we do any good, but we try.

A thoroughly engaging and in-depth discussion on some very interesting topics by the ever amazing Geoff Engelstein and ever popular Ryan Sturm.  Topics are discussed in some depth, with plenty of math and science thrown in to back it all up.  A very interesting listen!

Neil Shuck is the usual voice on Meeples and Miniatures, though for the last little while he’s also been joined by some regular-ish co-hosts in Rich Jones and Mike Hobbs.  Neil also regularly interviews publishers (predominantly of miniatures wargames), and has in-depth discussions on the games they are releasing.

Meeples and Miniatures is one of the only podcasts that manages to cover both the world of board gaming and the world of miniatures gaming.  In fact, Neil’s sultry tones are probably one of the reasons I’ve got back into collecting and painting miniatures at all.  Discussions are usually long and in-depth, but the banter keeps everything light and enjoyable.  Not a podcast for everybody perhaps, but I certainly look forward to each episode.  I like the fact Meeples and Miniatures covers a range of rules sets and game types, too many podcast on miniatures gaming tend to focus on one or two games, but Neil does a great job of discussing a breadth.  Well worth a listen.

Probably a personal favourite, and not because I am an occasional contributor.  Donald Dennis and Erik Dewey (along with a rotating third chair in Scott Nicholson’s absence) manage to cover a range of interesting topics to a good depth.  Don and Erik are industry veterans, who know of of what they speak, so to say.  This provides some experience and perspective that is rich, layered and different from most of the other podcasts out there.

Each episode is characterised by a ‘round table’ discussion on a particular topic, and followed by a variety of game reviews.  In my opinion it is one of the very best gaming podcasts out there - and yes I am biased.  Nonetheless, the discussions on this podcast, surrounding the round table topic, are some of the best and most interesting topical discussions on any gaming podcast I’ve listened to - well worth subscribing in my view.

View from the Veranda is a spin off series from the Meeples and Miniatures podcast, it’s a very occasional conversation between Neil Shuck and Henry Hyde.  This podcast is most certainly not one for everybody, but Neil and Henry manage to take a topic, veer off course, sometimes wildly, and keep it interesting and enjoyable.  This podcast really is topical, and always centered around miniatures gaming.  Long, occasionally rambling (in a good way), and something that almost touches on boutique - if such a term could be applied to a podcast.  Nonetheless I like the general light humour and personalities of the two hosts, and their discussions are interesting and enjoyable.

Over the years I've subscribed to a great many more gaming podcasts than the humble and short list that is here.  These are simply the ones I subscribe to at the moment - and since I change my subscriptions regularly, one or two may disappear, one or two may be added...

Other great gaming podcasts: The D6 Generation, The Spiel, Garett's Games and Geekiness, Happy Happy Board Game Love In (amusing but defunct), Into the Gamescape, The Little Metal Dog Show, and too many more to mention!


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