This week, I’m bringing you a post I’ve said I was going to do for a little over a month now. >.> I know it’s been a long dry spell here on Hot Pink Joysticks, but that’s hopefully going to start changing. Now that I can finally taste the sweet relief of summer break, I’ve got time enough to get this lovely post up.
Today, I’ll be talking to you about podcasts.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, podcasts are to your iPod what radio shows are to your radio. Podcasts are shows that range anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours in length and can be on absolutely any topic. There are lots of Podcasts out there about different interests and hobbies, and of course, here at Hot Pink Joysticks, we only care about those interests and hobbies that tickle the nerdy underbelly of society.
After a number of months, I’ve finally come down to a list of podcasts that I listen to very frequently and thoroughly enjoy. Be forewarned, however, if you stray from this list that I have provided you, you will be in the same boat I was for months. For every well-produced, focused, and insightful podcast out there, there are at least ten podcasts that contain terrible production values, annoying hosts, bad information, and rancid stereotypes. But when you find the few that are worth waiting for new episodes with bated breath, you’ll know that the weeks of wading through iTunes, knee-deep in wannabe “Yahtzee” Crowshaw, prepubescent voices was worth it. (My fiancee was kind enough just now to inform me that he likes “Yahtzee” Crowshaw. If you are in that ridiculous mindset, please fill that name slot in with another name, though I will keep my opinion that Mr. “Yahtzee” is a one-trick, blue-smoke pony.)
And now, without further ado, here’s the list of podcasts I’ve been listening to in alphabetical order. (Because that’s how iTunes likes it. >.>)
Across the Nerdaverse (Website)
Across the Nerdaverse is an amusing podcast done by hosts Jessie and Mark. These two individuals bring an interesting perspective to the i-waves on a fairly irregular basis. I happened across this podcast completely by chance in my mass subscribing phase on iTunes, and boy, I’m glad I did. They’re description on iTunes begins with “Nerd talk that hit’s you like a zerg-rush.” That was more than enough to get me through the first episode. I was nervous about this cast at first because of how unfocused it was. They pair talk about everything and anything nerdy, from science-fiction to movies, from video games to technological advances. The interesting hook that Jessie and Mark present, which in turn keeps this cast from becoming too broad, is the addition of a rotating third host. This host changes every episode, and Jessie and Mark let us get to know someone else out there with nerdy interests. Those interests are what usually help to shape any one particular show. For a fluffy, ever-changing podcast, give Across the Nerdaverse a listen!
Anime World Order (Website)
This podcast is literally the first anime podcast I have so far found that I can stomach. Every time I found a podcast that had decent content revolving around anime, I would listen for an average of three minutes before an annoying voice like this would suddenly assail my poor ears. (Sorry, Boxxy fans. I can’t stand her videos or her voice.) Usually, this voice would be accompanied by a terrible attempt at a moe or neko personality type. I had almost given up on finding a podcast about anime that would actually be enjoyable to listen to. But after wiping a little blood from my ears, I gave the Anime World Order a try. Thank heavens I did! Their website describes the podcast as follows: “The Anime World Order podcast began in 2005 and is run by three holier-than-thou know-it-alls that are…anything but. … Each week…er…month…ish, we review Japanese cartoons and/or comics. None of us knows how to shut up.” Hosts Daryl, Gerald, and Clarissa also write for the OtakuUSA magazine (both print and web editions) and the podcast itself was given a Parsec award for Best Anime Podcast. Please, please, don’t go listening to the squealing fangirl podcasts. Stop over to the AWO site and give them some love. (Keep in mind that this cast puts out shows in parts, usually labeled with letters. It takes a little getting used to.)
City of Doors (Website)
The City of Doors podcast is a newer addition to the D20 Radio Network (which includes a few other casts I listen to below). It’s important to know that all of the casts on the D20 Radio Network (found here) are all wonderful podcasts. City of Doors is no exception to that rule. While technically a 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons podcast, the City of Doors is a great podcast for any Dungeon Master, Game Master, or Story Teller running a roleplaying game for a group of players. They provide amazingly insightful information and fresh ideas that can be adopted for any game, any play group, and any play style. While the cast updates much less frequently than I’d like, about once a month, ReaperBryan and The Hoff come to you with a solid cast that was well worth the wait. Come join your fellow Travelers in The City of Doors!
Finding a website for this podcast was more difficult than I would have liked. However, this does not lessen the quality of the cast itself. I don’t read a whole lot for comic books (in fact, precious little), but I understand that it is one of the Geek’s most well-loved weapon in the Nerd Arsenal. Because of that, I sought out a good cast on comic books. While the Fantastic Forum isn’t really a newscast and thus has very little in the way of comic book news, they do a fantastic job discussing different aspects of comic books (including why there seem to be so few female role models in this also male-dominated geek-genre). This cast can be downloaded through iTunes.
This is honestly perhaps my favorite podcast. Ever. I think it probably has a lot to do with Brian’s voice. I can’t help it. I could listen to him read the phone book. >.> This cast is about board games and is hosted by Brian and Kat. Brian and Kat talk about different aspects of board gaming, as well as a lot of games that most people don’t think of when they think about board games. (You’ll learn quickly not to talk about Monopoly or such petty games in Brian’s presence. XP) It may seem like an odd topic for a podcast, but a good nerd knows that there’s more to board games than Yahtzee and Sorry! If you’ve ever wanted to play more “adult” board games like Apples to Apples (to throw out a commonly known name), give these two a listen! This podcast is also part of the D20 Radio Network.
Order 66 Podcast (Website)
The cast to end all casts. You think I’m kidding, but I’m really not. From episode 1, the Order 66 Podcast excels in production values. Now over 100 episodes in, the quality has only gotten better. GM Chris and GM Dave bring you an (almost) weekly dose of crunchy goodness about the popular roleplaying game, Star Wars Saga Edition. Every episode brings you a number of discussion on crunchy rules topics, specific instances and questions, interviews with developers, more creamy discussions on actual roleplaying, and much much more. The Order 66 Podcast is the only podcast devoted entirely to SWSE, but make sure you don’t let them know you’re listening (podcast joke, listen to understand)! GMs Chris and Dave also started the D20 Radio Network, and thus, the Order 66 Podcast is a part of said network.
Everyone needs more Harry Potter in their lives. I don’t care who you are or what you think, this podcast is necessary. On your iPod. Right now. Melissa, John, and Frak bring you a slightly sporadic dose of Harry Potter news and views, and ever cast is worth a listen. While the older podcasts include news that isn’t really relevant anymore, the in-depth discussions are completely worth a listen. Lately, the cast has been moving toward a dual-production in audio and visual, and while I prefer the audio podcasts, Pottercast makes the videocast work fairly well. This podcast is also affiliated with the biggest fan-produced Harry Potter website in the world — The Leaky Cauldron.
A Way With Words (Website)
This podcast is devoted to delving into the amazingly complex and exciting world of the English language. A public radio program in truth, this podcast is hosted by two smooth-talking, amusing characters who know far more about English idioms and sayings than any two humans have a right to. Hosts Martha and Grant never fail to amuse.
WTPT – Pokemon Radio (Website)
There are very few Pokemon podcasts on the airwaves, and among those few, WTPT – Pokemon Radio stands a mile above the rest. While there haven’t been any updates recently, members of their forums (myself included) have been assured that things are not ending completely. There’s some worry about this podcast’s future, but the backlog of episodes are all absolutely wonderful and are more than worth your time to listen through if you have any interest in Pokemon — especially the video games!