You’re about to drive home after an epic gaming session when you realize you’re still geeking out over your adventures at the tabletop. Since game night’s over, you’ll just have to wait until you see your buddies again to talk all about those epic games, right?
No worries. Simply pop in your earbuds and tune into a board gaming podcast for your fix of cardboard-related banter. From reviews and the latest news to game design analysis and discussion of the gaming culture, there are plenty of podcasts that board gamers can enjoy these days.
Here are five gaming podcasts that you should add to your regular podcast rotation.
In 2011 Geoff Engelstein started Ludology as a podcast dedicated to the craft of game design. An adjunct professor at the NYU Game Center who also teaches board game design, Engelstein and his current co-host Gil Hova are both game designers themselves. Every episode they dig deep into specific game mechanisms, discussing the how and why of gaming from a designer’s point of view. Best of all, they do it in a way that’s easily understandable.
“It has been a real treat having the opportunity to interview game design legends and learn about their design techniques. We have been fortunate to have had some of our personal heroes, including Peter Olatka (Cosmic Encounter), Martin Wallace (Age of Steam), and Richard Garfield (Magic: The Gathering),” Engelstein said. “As hosts we have learned a great deal, both from our guests and from each other. More than once the ideas that we have developed in Ludology have directly impacted our own design work.”
What started as a Slack channel as a way to get to know each other outside of Twitter turned into Greatway Games, a podcast about the culture of gaming. Each month Adrienne, Erin and Nicole talk about games, culture and everything in-between and they do so in an inclusive and positive vibe.
“We’re all passionate about the culture of gaming and were inspired to commit to a monthly episode on something interesting and positive,” Nicole said. “Greatway Games is about gaming generally, rather than games themselves. We take a high-level look at the culture of gaming, the people within it and all sorts of things related to that. There’s such an incredible wealth of smart and amazing folks in the community and it’s awesome to be able to share that with the world.”
Hooked on Geek
Husband-and-wife team of Greg and Stephanie Dickson talk about what board games they’ve played recently, along with anything geeky or pop-culture related that’s grabbed their attention. Hooked On Geek debuted at the start of this year with their friend Meeple Lady as a co-host, but after she left for other endeavors, Stephanie stepped in and they’ve seamlessly maintained their weekly schedule.
“We love the support from and the interaction with our listeners, including shaping a whole episode around a tweet from a listener who asked for horror movie suggestions,” Greg said. “We now view the show as a bit of a journal, a snapshot into our interests that we could conceivably look back on and a weekly opportunity to decompress from other responsibilities such as work, parenting and the stresses of adult life.”
Low Player Count
I find myself doing more solo and two-player gaming these days, so naturally I was attracted to Low Player Count. After Donny and Travis met at a Monty Python quote-a-long at a local theater, they learned they were two teachers who also shared a love of board games. They anchor their show around one- and two-player games.
“We have met, interviewed, and interacted with loads of fabulous people, and we know there is a place for everyone at the table,” Travis said. “I’ve loved being able to wield our sway to discuss larger, more pertinent, topics in the board game industry than simply solo gaming.”
The Five By
True to its name, The Five By features five board game reviews, each clocking in at about five minutes. Started by Mike Risley, one Twitter user compared the podcast to “ordering a flight of board games at your local game cafe and having five board game connoisseurs each describe a game.” (Full disclosure: I joined The Five By as a contributor earlier this year).
“I was noticing more and more board gaming podcasts were having a time creep issue. One-hour podcasts were starting to hit 90 minutes. Ninety-minute podcasts were starting to go over two hours,” Mike said. “We are living in a great time to be a board gamer with so many top-notch games, great podcasts, YouTube, and written content, but everyone has so little time. Our goal with The Five By is to help narrow that list of games for you by covering five games in less than 30 minutes.”
BONUS MENTION: Ding & Dent
If you’re paying attention you’ll notice this is actually the sixth podcast we’re highlighting. Bonus content for the win! Geek & Sundry’s very own Raf Cordero and Charlie Theel head up Ding & Dent, a podcast that covers games, news, and interviews with designers. After getting to know each other through the Board Game Geek forum boards, Raf and Charlie launched Ding & Dent to continue their gaming conversations.
“We live in two different states, so it’s a fun way for us to explore a large variety of games. We don’t script the show, and as we don’t often play together our agreements and disagreements often surprise even us,” Raf said. “Even when we’re both reviewing the same game, we haven’t played together and have different experiences based on our groups.”
What are your favorite boardgame podcasts? Tell us in the comments!
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Featured Image Credit: Ruel Gaviola
Image Credits: Geoff Engelstein, Gil Hova, Greatway Games, Hooked on Geek, Low Player Count, Mike Risley, Ding & Dent
Ruel Gaviola loves board games, books, food, travel, Star Wars, and date nights with his wife. He writes about games for iSlaytheDragon and tabletop-test.com, podcasts about games for The Five By, and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.