I’ve recently been listening to various gaming podcasts, including Scott Nicholson’s videos (which helped sell a few games to my ladies). One of my current favorites is The Spiel, produced by two avid gamers in “a padded cell” in Indianapolis. Each episode includes news and notes, a few games from an ever-growing “List” of games they haven’t yet played but already own, and some other nice features.
The podcast is now a year old, and has improved in quality and content as Steven and Dave have gotten their feet under them and begun talking through the fourth wall to the audience (and not just to each other). In a number of these podcasts, I get the impression that things flow better when there’s more than one person talking – but the participants still have to keep in mind that there are people who will listen out of time context, perhaps years later (nothing’s ever lost on the net these days thanks to Google.)
My wife and I played games from the day we met – I brought games with me on my year abroad. (Talk about desert island gaming – this was before Settlers and just about everything else: I only took what I could carry, and was overseas for almost a year.) As a result, I’ve played a lot of games. No, really, a lot. Since I go to the Gathering and am part of the Unity Games steering committee – for what it’s worth – I’m pretty well up on what’s out and what’s coming.
I’m amused when folks who haven’t been gaming as long come across things that I’ve already seen, done and bought the t-shirt for. At first I found The Spiel a bit like that: two guys who were getting to things that I’d gone past. But as they got organized, worked at the process (which, to be fair, I’ve not even attempted) and focused on what they did best – talk about games and their gaming experience – it grew on me. Steven Conway and David Coulson genuinely like to play games. Eurogamers are afflicted with a sort of terrible Weltschmerz about the whole thing these days, complaining about themes and reused mechanics and so forth. It’s hard to get excited about new games, since they don’t seem to be all that new. But David loves the play of the game, and takes great pride in organization and collecting; and Steven is fascinated by the components (the “Goober”, which in case you weren’t aware comes in “Truckloads”). Neither one is blasé about the gaming experience. Nor should they be.
I sent them a link to my recent Gathering report, and wound up corresponding with Steven. I also sent them a couple of custom dice I’d had made for our baseball league, since David is such a dice-maniac (their commentary on Chessex’ custom dice at GenCon put me on to it). And they were good enough to mention me on the air, plug my main site and my books, and put me in the Episode 28 show notes. I’ve added them to the blogroll at right, and look forward to future episodes.
Check out their podcast. Whether or not you find their comments instructive or entertaining, you will enjoy their enthusiasm for games. I certainly do.