My full-time job is doing search engine optimization and pay-per-click marketing. Due to the nature of this work, I spend a lot of time banging away at my keyboard writing. As I write, I get to listen to music and podcasts throughout the day, and having 8-10 hours of this daily lets me check out the best gaming has to offer in regards to podcasts. I currently subscribe to around 20 different podcasts (not all gaming related), and here are my favorites in no specific order. I know I’ve done this before, but I feel it’s worth it as these shows evolve and change over time.
Robert Ashley’s A Life Well Wasted – This podcast is incredible. It’s not a weekly show, but that’s because every episode is highly produced, well-researched, and delves deep into its subject matter. Just today I was finishing up an episode while driving back from my soccer game and I ended up finishing the last 15 minutes in my driveway because I didn’t want to stop listening to go inside. Anybody who likes to think about games on a deeper level than just how cool graphics are or what the NPDs might mean in the console wars, check this podcast out. Also, the music provided by Robert’s band I Come to Shanghai makes for an amazing moment or two each show. Episode two has an electronic beat layed over the sounds of quarters dropping into pinball quarter mechanisms, pop bumpers, and and ball ejects. Robert also makes great use of silence much like a painter leverages white space on a canvas. This is as close to art as you’re going to find in a gaming podcast.
Listen Up – 1up’s podcast hosted by Garnett Lee and with regulars John Davison, David Ellis, and Sam Kennedy is one of the most passionate podcasts out there. These guys do well to hit all aspects of gaming from PC, handhelds, consoles, and even iPhone and Android. Always a little irreverent but respectful, Listen Up does a good job running with the torch after 1up Yours met its end with the death of EGM and the departure of old favorites like Shane Bettenhausen, Luke Smith, and Mark McDonald. This podcast is a weekly podcast and is released each Friday.
The CAGCast – CheapyD and Wombat put out this weekly show and they have a great chemistry going. With Wombat in New York and Cheapy in Tokyo, each co-host brings a different perspective on the industry to the converstation. With these two guys you’ll never be questioning whethr or not they’re being fully upfront about their opinions or beliefs.
Giant Bombcast – Probably the best podcast out there that acts as the “official” podcast of a gaming news and editorial outlet, Brad, Jeff, Ryan, and Vinny are a hilarious group of journalists that use their time behind the mic to delve deeper into the week’s bigger stories and to vent about what’s been bugging them. This podcast comes out on Tuesdays and is definitely one of the first you should check out if you want an idea of what gaming podcasts have to offer.
Under the Radar – Blake, Matthew, and Steve do a weekly show where they “focus on the games that the other guys ignore.” This is an entertaining podcast full of well-informed and witty conversation. This is one of the shorter podcasts out there, so it should fit into anybody’s schedule. This is also a great podcast if you’re looking to get a chance to interact with the hosts via email or Twitter as they’re really responsive to feedback.
The Penny Arcade Podcast – From a pure comedy standpoint no other podcast in gaming measures up. This show is hilarious, but unfortunately they’re released very sporadically and it’s been quite some time since their last effort. Still, this is a show worth subscribing to so you can grab it when one does drop.
Co-Op – The spiritual successor to the amazing 1up Show, Co-Op is a weekly video podcast that runs about 30 minutes long, so it’s basically a full blown TV show that happens to be distributed for free over the Internet. This show integrates editorial, media, and humor through conversational pieces and skits that are well-written, clever, and interesting. Check these guys out at http://www.Area5.TV.
Other Podcasts Worth Listening To:
- The Geek Box
- IGN’s 3 Red Lights (Xbox Team)
- IGN’s Podcast Beyond (Sony Team)
- X-Play Daily Video Podcast
If you know of any other great shows out there, let me know about them.