As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of several boardgaming podcasts. They were greatly responsible for my “education” into the modern boardgaming scene, and they’re pretty much the only thing that I listen to in the car anymore. Unfortunately, in the last several months there has been a serious degradation in the number, frequency, and (in some cases) quality of the podcasts that I listen to.
The first one that “fell” was the great Little Wooden Cubist, Charley Eastman. I stumbled onto LWC on iTunes the first week it was posted, and I was instantly hooked. After a big hiatus, Charley unfortunately informed us of a big priority shift in his life on the “last” podcast he aired, and I fear that he has left the podcasting world for good.
One of my absolute favorite podcasts is the Metagamers, which I think had the most intelligent and informative discussions on the net aimed towards serious, hobby boardgamers. Similarly to the LWC, Jay Little left the podcast for “real life” issues as well, and while Jim Cote and Mark Haberman still do a great show, Jay was apparently the one that was the driving force for them to record and publish shows, so new podcasts are few and far between.
On the other hand, the cast of Pulp Gamer, in their desperate attempt to become a “network” or “suite” of podcasts, has tragically sold their soul to Mayfair, and now pretty much everything they do comes off like a big commercial for Mayfair-only products. I still listen, but it’s with a sad longing for the spark that they once had.
I was beginning to get worried about E.R. Burgess and his Boardgame Babylon podcast, but thankfully he seems to be picking up his pace a little as we’ve gotten further into 2008.
For awhile, I was hopeful that the “venerable” Mark Johnson would fully re-energize his Boardgames to Go podcast, but he also continues to only put out new shows very infrequently.
While it will never quite be the greak GeekSpeak, The Aldie Show is really good when Scott gets around to doing one.
Paul Tevis also recently pulled the plug on his Ennie-winning podcast, Have Games, Will Travel. It was probably only 1/4-1/3 boardgame content, but I still enjoyed listening to him a lot. He’ll keep publishing occasional short podcasts on his feed, but the days of the regular, full-length HGWT are over.
While Stephen and Dave over at The Spiel are still going strong, the show seems to have lost a little something for me. More than anything, maybe it’s because they seem to be off in their own little corner of the boardgaming world, paying more attention to their own segments than to the greater community. For instance, instead of pulling out really good older games that could actually be recommendations for people to play or purchase in their “Backshelf Spotlight”, it seems like they’ve turned it into an exercise to find two obscure and not particularly interesting games that are different enough to make an entertaining “connection” for the contest they do every week. I still listen regularly, but it’s only for the entertainment of listening to them and not to actually pick up any new or interesting boardgaming information.
I’ve been forced to listen to a few RPG podcasts and even some NPR podcasts (This American Life and Wait Wait… Don’tTell Me!) to take up the slack! I also listen to the d6 Generationand Meeples and Miniatures some, even though they’re mostly focused on miniatures wargames.
But then again, there are still some really great podcasts out there that manage to mostly satisfy my boardgaming needs: Garrett’s Games and Geekiness, On BoardGames, Into the Gamescape, Board GamesWith Scott, The Dice Tower (even though I think I’m liking Tom’s Musings On podcast more than the core podcast these days), and the really great videocast Obsessed BoardGamers. But often, I’m left wanting more!
If I had any extra spare time lying around, I’d actually like to try my hand at a semi-regular podcast. Particularly, I think that it would be really cool to have a roundtable discussion each week with the guys in the Hypermind Boardgamers about our Game of the Month! as well as any other gaming hits and misses for the month. From the outside looking in, however, I can’t imagine finding the energy to get something like that started, or how I’d be able to keep it going when I can barely seem to post on this blog as often as I’d like.
Any thoughts out there about my perception of the boardgame podcasting world?