Reflections on One Year of Podcasting
Full disclosure: The primary reason we did not go with our usual format for episode 52 of the podcast was because Hunter was unavailable at the time. With him being one of the show’s co-hosts, we agreed that it would be weird to have a guest substitute in for him. After all, even if you do not believe in arbitrary milestones, 1 More Podcastle itself has been something special for the past year – and a large part of that is due to the efforts of our audio engineer.
Fuller disclosure: In some ways, the past twelve months have been rough for me.
Forgive me for getting personal, but it is true. Unemployment is a part of that, as have been some various other real-life obstacles and occurences to have to deal with. From one point of view, 2013 has, so far, felt like I am surviving rather than thriving.
Now, whoa, wait, what does this have to do with the podcast? What does this have to do with three dudes talkin’ about old video games? What does this have to do with blocking out one evening of all my weeks just to do so? What does this have to do with gradually establishing our own culture of in-jokes and gaining rapport? What does this have to do with finding common ground in a retro gaming community that enjoys our hobby for its unique value as an escapist venue, an interactive fantasyland we use in order to craft our own other-life experiences as—
Ah, there it is.
I look forward to every Thursday night recording, and I said as much on the clip show. But to explain it a bit more, it is not just the fact that I anticipate sitting down for the Podcastle, it is how utterly unconditional my anticipation is.
It does not matter if I had a great day or a crappy day, if I feel rushed or prepared, if I have been gaming lately or not. Every time I slip those headphones on and check my notes, I am at ease. I am enjoying myself. I am utterly, inconsequentially in a different zone, a state of…
All right, this is some really heavy-handed sentiment going on. Let me back up a bit.
When we originally wanted to start doing a weekly podcast, I was nervous. I allude to this in the clip show, too. To be clear, I had no idea how to participate in a podcast. I was not even sure if my then-laptop was reliable enough, if my headphones were good enough, or how many other silly technical concerns I could come up with. I was unsure if I was organized enough for notes yet improvisational enough for conversation.
Beyond the specific points was an underlying, discouraging idea. That was the worst, maybe: Not the presence of the negative, but the absense of the positive, in my mind. I really did think, hey, I will just grit my teeth and bear it every week. People will like this, so I better do a good job.
I had no idea that the podcast would be so fun! Yeah, that sounds ridiculous, in hindsight, yet it was true. I had no idea that I would someday view it as a treat and a pleasure, rather than a mere editorial duty and task.
Remember, I did not know Hunter. He was just some random apparition that appeared when we needed a sound editor (seriously, I still have no idea where he came from). As for Jason, well, I knew he was our PC-games writer, but what does that mean to me? Why would that give me any sort of confidence toward our on-air chemistry? I remember Andrew having to explicitly tell me, “Jason will be great, he’ll be good for it.”
Oh, okay. If you say so.
Now? I can hardly imagine my week without making fun of Jason and his anti-physical-media tendencies, or rolling my eyes at Hunter’s Sega fanboyisms. Trying to sockpiano an old joke into the mix is just as fun as giving serious thought to recent issues of note.
Besides, isn’t this what 1 More Castle was always supposed to be all about, anyway? That special something behind the buttons and pixels; that tactile, visceral, real-life experiential part of the retro gaming equation. If we remember that feeling of sitting on the living room carpet as a child, hoping our parents would let us say up just a little later so we could finish one more level, how better to keep that spirit alive than through informal chat between two like-minded hobbyists?
It hurts my brain to consider how much great audiovisual content we lost to the ether, since some of the times we have laughed hardest were those off-the-air moments before and after episodes. That is probably only possible because we all have a great time, genuinely.
Then again, sometimes some weirdo brings Clu Clu Land to the Retro Showdown and throws everything off. Heck, Jason doesn’t even bring a proper game. But at least he is capable of bringing something other than a Castlevania clone, unlike Hunter.
Wow. This piece turned out much differently, from what I had in mind when I started writing it. Maybe that is for the better, I guess. Perhaps this was more for my own good than yours, considering the notable lack of amusing anecdotes, sorry.
Look: If you have never given podcasting a chance, go for it. I am glad I did. If you have never listened, or watched, an episode of the 1 More Podcastle, I would highly recommend checking us out. Sure, that is a shameless plug, but we are very proud of our product. I would put our podcast head-to-head against any other, especially in the realm of gaming.
And if you already listen, keep listening. Feel free to keep sending us emails, commenting on the episode pages, voting in the Showdown polls, and telling your friends. Keep listening. Because we are definitely going to keep… doing… whatever the heck it is that we are doing. I’ll keep up the terrible puns, that’s for sure.