I’ve been meaning to write a post listing the podcasts I listen to right now. I have a commute which takes 25-30 minutes on average, almost all of which is usually driving fairly slowly in traffic. I used to listen to talk radio way back in the day, but the amount of commercials drove me crazy. These days I’m utterly addicted to my iPod, to the point where when my last one finally died I immediately went out and purchased another one. Heather can attest that when my iPod goes missing I literally go into a frenzy trying to find it. A portion of my sanity is now linked to that iPod and I can’t handle traffic without it anymore.
Aaanyways, here we go:
History According to Bob: Bob Packet is a community college history professor from the mid-west who puts out a history podcast 6 days a week. His podcasts are usually about 15 minutes long. His focus is military and political history though he occasionally dabbles in other topics. Bob’s real success is in his accessible teaching style which makes his podcasts a joy to listen to both for someone familiar with the topic and someone completely unfamiliar. A lot of his listeners are people who disliked history back in school but find his teaching style makes history much more interesting. I also think his ability to maintain objectivity despite discussing some fairly controversial topics is pretty impressive. In my opinion Bob is a national treasure. Audio quality is good, and he also has MP3 CDs of his series available. Currently Bob is talking about the French and Indian War (as a prelude to covering the Revolutionary War), the Cold War, The American Civil War (he’s in Spring 1864), the life of Julius Caesar, and the Napoleonic Wars. Typically the previous 25 episodes are available on iTunes, and the rest are available via the MP3 CDs. If you are at all interested in military or political history, give him a listen.
The Instance: This is my one and only World of Warcraft Podcast, one that I listen to even when I’m not currently subscribed to the game. Easily the most popular Warcraft podcast out there and a contender for the most popular gaming podcast of all time. I find it the perfect balance of game news, community news and discussion, and humorous banter related to the game. Audio quality is superb and they have a format that just works very well. Sadly, one of the show’s long-time co-hosts has just announced he is leaving so the show is in a transition period right now.
Declarations of War: I’ve listened to a lot of different EVE Online podcasts over the years but this is the one I’m listening to currently. Many EVE podcasts have come and gone, and there are quite a few currently going but the quality level of many of them is not that great. Declarations of War is produced by members of Noir Mercenary group, one of the more respected mercenary alliances in EVE. The mercenary profession is certainly one of the more interesting emergent gameplay elements of EVE and the podcast discusses their recent contracts, news from the larger mercenary community, and general EVE news. While it’s not a great podcast to learn the EVE mechanics, they do discuss mechanics as they relate to actual operations. Audio quality is so-so, and the main host (and Noir Mercenary group leader) Alekseyev Karrde keeps the podcast on topic sufficiently to maintain my interest. I’m not playing EVE right now so aside from reading dev blogs and very occasionally checking the EVE forums this is my link to the game currently.
Point 2 Point: Great wargame podcast by two guys in the DC area that fell on hard times and hasn’t been updated much in the last year. Recently one of the two hosts decided to go ahead and produce the show on his own so It’ll be interested in seeing how that goes. I have enjoyed listening to this podcast for years, great insights on many popular wargames and the general wargame community.
The Messy Game Room: Mike and Marshall; two guys from West Virginia who swear like sailors (major language warning), drink while podcasting, and go off-topic so often that sometimes I just stop listening to certain episodes. All that said, this podcast has a certain charm to it that I can’t quite explain. They have a very dedicated game group and huge boardgame collections, as well as pretty eclectic game interests, so the discussion on the show is often very interesting. They record in a walk-in closet which results in some of the best audio quality I’ve heard from a non-professional podcast. No organized format to speak of.
I’ve Been Diced: Tom Grant’s podcast about boardgaming that typically involves a sort of moderated group discussion on a particular topic as well as some solo segments where he discusses less popular games that he likes. A lot of really good insights, very interesting and intellectual discussion. However, the poor audio quality and a sometimes condescending tone annoy me. Tom also writes a blog and is very active on boardgamegeek. Probably the “smartest” boardgame podcast I listen to, its up to you if that’s a good thing or not.
Starcast: My Starcraft 2 podcast of choice. Great structure, solid audio quality, and good content. They also manage to stay pretty well on topic which is very cool. Similar to The Instance, it’s good enough that I don’t need any other Starcraft podcast.
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