Podcasts are a thing that come up from time to time in conversation, and I always say something like “I like XYZ podcast, you should check it out!” We all know how that kind of talk goes, though, and without a “here is a link, go here, subscribe while I hawk over your shoulder” thing the chances of someone taking podcast advice is pretty much nil.
Note: I would be very interested in some suggestions of podcasts that are video game/comics/”nerd culture” (ugh!) related and are hosted by women, people of color, or basically anyone who isn’t a group of white dudes.
So here is a list of podcasts that I listen to in no particular order. There aren’t many on this list, but I can say that I listen to them every time an episode is released.
Comedy Bang Bang!
I’ve been listening to this since it was a Comedy Death Ray, and I’ve loved it the whole time. I think the show dropped in quality a bit last fall, but 2013 has made it shine again. Scott Aukerman hosts each episode and features at least two guests. One of the guests is her or himself in a traditional interview format, and the other person plays a character. The podcast is famous for these characters–Paul F. Tompkins playing Cake Boss, for example, or Jessica St. Clair playing the show’s teenage intern. I enjoy the show on the whole, but occasional guests take the show into offensive territory. However, Aukerman does a great job of steering the show away from that kind of comedy, and the show is good for it.
Doug Loves Movies
Comedian Doug Benson travels the country doing shows where he has local and national comedians talk and play games about movies. I like podcasts with a point, and Benson’s games like “The Leonard Maltin Game” or “Bane vs Lincoln” keep me interested from week to week. The guests are generally funny. Once again, a comedy podcast with sort-of random comedian guests can go into offensive territory, but Benson is very quick to step in and say “that’s not okay” for sexist or racist jokes, which I like.
This podcast, hosted by Jeremiah and Toupsi and Todd, is the highlight of my week. Everyone is smart and funny, and the guests (when there are guests, it isn’t every episode) are always engaging. Everyone’s tastes run widely enough that it isn’t an agreement-fest, which I enjoy a lot. [Note: I was a guest one time on this podcast and it was wonderful.]
Low Score Podcast
Bobby and Jay host this podcast, and the general gist is that Bobby and Jay are good friends who Skype (I guess?) with each other once every couple weeks to talk about what they have been doing and playing. You get a good sense of progression and iteration–they aren’t afraid to cover a topic more than once if it would make for good conversation. This is another podcast with a “point” in that they have segments they do during each episode: The List where they list off games based on a pre-selected topic (like “Top Five Game Narratives”) and justify their choices, and News, where they run down topical game news stuff. They don’t linger on a topic, they’re both smart guys, and they’re engaging speakers.
Honorable mention goes to Oh No Video Games!, which I listened to one time and did not subscribe to.