I’ve always been a little dismissive of the whole podcast thing. As tuned into the internet as I am, I’m somewhat of a grognard at times. It bugs me when I click on a link expecting to read a story and instead it’s a video. Yep, the box on the floor next to my desk that has more processing power than the computer that sent Apollo 11 to the moon is streaming video at near instant speed and I’m complaining because I’d rather read an article at my own pace than wait for a couple of talking heads to say the same thing. Call me ungrateful. But I also have a preference for the carefully considered word over a stream of consciousness from a couple of guys sharing a web connection.
But now that I’ve been walking on a regular basis and I’ve listened to practically every song on my playlists what feels like a dozen times, I’ve been looking for something else to keep me distracted. Not having something going on in my ears is out of the question. I need something to keep my mind off of the sheer repetitiveness of what I’m doing, and the sound of passing cars just isn’t going to cut it. I tried bringing Mike and Mike along with me, but the ESPN radio app is, to be kind, a buggy piece of crap, and the other radio choices at my disposal weren’t all that appealing. I needed another option.
Of course I went with the dorkiest option available.
I’ve become a little obsessed lately with the new Star Wars card game from Fantasy Flight, and in my web-based wanderings for discussion about it, I came across The Smuggler’s Den. It’s a podcast that talks about the game in the most minute, exacting detail. Just the kind of thing to make me forget I’m crossing busy intersections and possibly doing permanent damage to my feet. I burned through all their episodes so far, went looking for more game-related podcasts, and settled on The Dice Tower. This one covers games of all kinds, and it’s possibly even dorkier than The Smuggler’s Den. But the floodgates have been opened. I’ve installed a podcast app on my phone, and I’m scouring about for more subscriptions to add.
Some of the problems behind my reluctance still remain. Just because you could talk for an hour and forty minutes on a subject doesn’t mean you should talk for an hour and forty minutes. A tighter focus would do wonders for some of these. The Dice Tower, in particular, runs through so many topics and so many guest commenters that, despite its length, it still feels rushed. They’ll just be getting into an interesting topic before it’s on to the next one. I’d rather hear one or two things gone over in depth than listen to them skim the surface on everything.
But I’m clearly just scratching the surface. So feel free to recommend any interesting podcasts some of you may be aware of. Stuff good enough to make me wander into traffic.