Well now, it's 2011! What a wonderful treat!
Instead of top ten bullshit lists, or ill-informed predictions for the coming year, I thought I'd do something a little different. I'm suffering from extreme post-Christmas lethargy, and watching Alan Partridge, so excuse the shortness of the post, but I didn't feel this needed to be huge in length. That's what she said.
At the moment I'm taking a break from listening to Ricky Gervais' podcasts, and I'm dipping my toe back into the gaming podcast world. New contemporary podcasts are all well and good, but I have a few recommendations of classic podcasts which are both fly and dope.
Don't be scared by the apparent nerdiness of the idea of gaming podcasts. Yes, they are a bit on the geeky side, but the ones I'm about to recommend have something else about them. That little bit extra. They all revolve around similar characters, and some recurr, but here's 3 that I would recommend to anyone who likes games.
Calm down, you don't have to like PC games. The archive go ALL the way back to 2006, and for 3 years this podcast grew into something spectacular. Tales of griefing, people marrying Sonic and everything inbetween, this American magazine's podcast was absolutely superb. Funny, off-the-cuff jokes are met with clever gaming insight and a genuine love for gaming. Don't worry, I haven't heard about half the games either, but that's kinda not the point.
If there was ever a battle between Xbox and Playstation, this Podcast was the battleground. From the mediocre 1Up website came this fantastic Podcast, where 4 Games Journalists would duke it out every week, discussing the news, and projecting the future. Noticeable stars of the Podcast were Shane Bettenhausen and Luke Smith, both staunch defenders of Sony (Bettenhausen), and Microsoft (Smith, who now works for Bungie). Funny, fuelled by Scotch and always heated, listen to the archived stuff from around 2006/7, just before the current gen consoles came out for the best stuff.
Probably the best Podcast I'm going to recommend, and a real work of genius. Robert Ashley, contributor to GFW Radio, has made this very sporadic radio show which looks at the more obscure side of gaming. Absolutely spectacular in every single sense, this honestly feels like nothing you've ever heard before.
Ashley's band I Come To Shanghai provide the soundtrack, and a colourful selection of interview subjects make for a show that is absolutely spellbinding. From the man who infiltrated communist Russia to buy the rights to Tetris, to the Stanford University professor who's been tasked with preserving online MMO's for future generations.
If you're going to heed one of my badly-written pleas, heed this. You NEED to hear this show. It's probably the most inspiring creative thing being produced about games at the moment, and an absolute pleasure to listen to. Indeed, the only downside is it's sporadic release schedule. This somehow makes it a little more mystical, and although frustrating is ultimately well worth the wait.
If you're looking for another use for your iPod, try one of these for your walk to work.