Once you reach a certain age, keeping up with your hobbies can be insanely difficult when you have to start balancing them with work, marriage, children, and other responsibilities. I’m a bit lucky in this aspect since a) gaming intersects with my work-life fairly regularly and b) my wife is a gamer herself and grew up with the culture. That said, ever since the birth of my child and the increase in writing work I’ve taken on, it’s been getting harder.
But it helps to have a community or two that you can be part of that understand what you’re going through, especially when said communities have some excellent podcasts.
My all-time favourite gaming podcast is “The Gamer’s With Jobs Conference Call” which is the official weekly podcast of the “Gamers With Jobs” online community. As the title indicates, the podcast (and the site) caters to gamers… with jobs; the gamers swamped with work and swamped with life that still have the need to play games. They discuss what place games have in their lives, how they integrate gaming with their schedules, and even talk about their kids.
But my favourite aspect of this podcast is the fact that each week they take the time to discuss in-depth issues in gaming from a more mature perspective. Sure, they do brief reviews at the beginning of every show, but the real meat of the podcast revolves around such topics as narrative in games, analyses of free-to-play models, “why” they game, etc. They approach each topic with intelligence and depth, which leads to very stimulating discussions.
After listening to over 200 episodes of this podcast, I had started yearning for more along these lines, and have found a couple that are similar but not quite up there considering they are usually produced by gaming websites and, thus, hosted by gamers embedded in the industry who don’t necessarily have to deal with the issues Gamers with Jobs does.
But, recently, I found one that has the added benefit of taking the Gamers With Jobs model and adding a dose of Asian perspective to it.
“The OMGeek Podcast” is one I discovered by virtue of a friend of mine appearing on it (tech guru Jayvee Fernandez, whom you can visit at http://abuggedlife.com) to discuss marketing in video games. Hosted by two gentlemen from the Philippines and one from Singapore, OMGeek serves as the official podcast of the OMGeek online community.
It is a community, and a podcast, that mirrors that of Gamers With Jobs in that it caters to the gaming needs of those of us who, because of life, work, and kids, can no longer spend long carefree days of devoting hours and hours to Final Fantasy 8 or Wing Commander IV. Only two episodes old, it has already tackled such meaty topics as the aforementioned marketing in games as well as character consistency in gaming narratives.
So if you’re a gamer with a job and/or possibly looking for an Asian perspective, check out these two excellent podcasts. You won’t be sorry.
The Gamers with Jobs Conference Call can be found here: http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/podcast
And here’s how you can subscribe to OMGeek: