This is a well-represented category, with many podcasts covering computer gaming, console gaming, role-playing gaming and board gaming. Gaming podcasts run the gamut, discussing gaming news, interviews with industry professionals, reviews, or reports from gaming sessions.
The gaming podcasts also run between 15 minutes and 2+ hours. Although many listeners prefer a shorter podcast to a longer one, the longer podcasts often have dedicated listeners who insist that it can't be too long, as long as it's good, as the fans of the Gaming Uncensored podcast insist. A few examples of good gaming podcasts are listed in Table 3.5.
Charlie George hosts this podcast out of Joliet, Illinois as part of the Tech Podcasters Network. The show is released three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) with the average length being 10 to 30 minutes per episode. The show is G-rated.
This podcast, which features Jamie and Tommy, two college students from Texas talking about computer and video games, can run anywhere between 1 and 2 hours. The hosts have a good chemistry that allows them to take tangents that may or may not be related to gaming, but still manage to entertain the fans. (One of the best stories features Jamie receiving sales and marketing calls from the local funeral home on the morning of his 26th birthday.) So if you're going to cram a lot of gaming info into one podcast, focus on the entertainment factor.
Have Games, Will Travel
Paul Tevis, a writer and gamer, created this podcast after realizing he preferred talking about games over writing about them. His podcast revolves around reviews of board games and RPG games, as well as industry interviews when he goes to the conferences.
Secrets of Effective Gaming Podcasts
Gaming podcasts are more commonly run by two hosts than one, and the addition of a second host changes the dynamic of the podcast a great deal. One host gives a definite feel of intimacy as well as an air of one-on-one instruction. Two hosts generally bring a lighter mood to the podcast, and the two-host shows are almost always longer.
Doing a gaming podcast requires an almost fanatical dedication to gaming, which almost always requires a sizable budget for game purchases and plenty of free time with which to play them. If you have 10 games in your collection, you're going to run out of podcasts fast. Make sure you're playing a lot of games so you will have lots to talk about over the life of your show.
One thing to remember when it comes to gaming podcasts is that gaming fans are fickle. If you do not have a regular release plan, it is likely that you will lose listeners. Therefore, if a gaming podcast is your goal, you need to consider a regular schedule and stick to it. Most attempt a semi-weekly or weekly schedule. Regardless of that, communication with the fans is important. Adding a forum to your blog is a great idea (see Figure 3.3). Fans love a place where they can get together and discuss their favorite gamesand your podcast!
Figure 3.3. Gaming Uncensored message board.