I’m fairly new to the podcast community. Similar to my previous alternate audio medium to help me power through my slow burn of a work day, podcasts have provided an enjoyable solution. I’ve tried numerous podcasts, from various genres ranging from comedy to analytical, but most of my interest lies with the popular gaming podcasts that I’ve been following. If you’re a seasoned listener there’s little chance that the following examples will offer much insight to your subscription habits. This list is mainly meant for gamers that are looking for report from individuals who work in the industry, or avid listeners who may not be familiar with the gaming podcast genre.
Since this is the first series I tried out, I figured I would also make it my first recommendation. I was already a big follower of Kotaku.com, specifically the work Jason Schreier and Kirk Hamilton, who just so happen to be the hosts of the show. If you’re looking for an easy entry point for gaming podcasts, this is definitely a great option. Unlike some shows, Splitscreen keeps the hosts to a minimum, bringing on the occasional guest to stir the pot a bit. Thus far, all of these featured guests have been interesting additions, often being well known developers, voice actors, and writers of established companies in the gaming industry. The back and forth between Jason and Kirk is charming and easy to follow. From listening to this podcast for just a few months I already feel like I have a good understanding of each host’s gaming interests and personalities.
This pick comes as the quintessential gaming podcast of this list. For the better part of the last decade the Giant Bombcast crew has been delivering wide coverage of the latest gaming news, consistently coming in at a whomping 2-3 hour run time. The current host, Brad Shoemaker, is usually accompanied by several members of the Giant Bomb team and confidants from other areas of the industry. At times it can be a bit daunting to follow half a dozen voices giving their separate positions on the topics at hand, but the variety is a welcome feature. If you’re looking for a podcast that gives quantity without sacrificing quality, Giant Bombcast will be a great addition to your subs list.
8-Bit Book Club
This quirky little show puts an interesting spin on video game podcasts. Rather than discussing the news of the week or recounting their experiences with recent game releases, 8-Bit Book Club takes a journey down a nearly lost medium of video game fandom. Their most basic formula consists of reading mediocre novelizations of popular video games, and holding an in depth discussion about their impressions. Hosts Brian Murphy, Emily Axford, and Caldwell Tanner will also periodically take on the challenge of reading interactive gamebooks from the 1990’s. This latter version provides a great deal of intrigue due to the constant possibility of failure from the club’s choices. Their interactions, mixed with an exorbitant amount of immature and sexual profanity makes for an entertaining way to pass the time.
This team resides in Shibuya, Tokyo, and delivers some tasty info to satisfy their listeners back in the states. What better way is there to immerse yourself in Japanese gaming culture than to go directly from the horse’s mouth? 8-4 Play’s primary objective is to assist with video game localization to the western market. Their podcast definitely keeps a strong voice in this respect, helping to build a stronger connection between the separate game industries and their audiences. I’ve been tuning in for a few weeks now, but it didn’t take long for this group to rise through the ranks of my library. Similar to Giant Bombcast, 8-4 Play has quite a few contributors to their weekly podcast episodes; mainly Mark MacDonald and John Ricciardi. When the topic strays away from the eastern video game market, listeners can receive some great insight into mainstream Japanese culture. This can be a great change of pace after hours of local podcasts.
If you’re looking for something outside of the gaming industry, be sure to check out Brett Lindsey’s original article on recommended podcasts: You Should Listen To Podcasts