Podcasts, the perfect accompaniment for a commute, or background noise while at home or working. I listen to them daily, covering all manner of subjects, particularly gaming. That is why I thought I’d compile a list of the best gaming podcasts for you to grace your ears with (and eyes, some of these are also video podcasts, but you get my point especially if you’re still reading this). Covering daily industry news, as well as the insights, perspectives, and experiences of those who play a role in creating the games we all know and love, there is surely a podcast for you in my (somewhat biased) list.
Industry News: Kinda Funny Podcast Network
Based out of San Francisco, Kinda Funny was started by former IGN employees Greg Miller, Nick Scarpino, Colin Moriarty, and Tim Gettys in 2015 following their exit from IGN. The entertainment company primarily focuses their content online covering the latest releases in film, TV, and most importantly video games. As for their video game podcasts, there are quite a few so take your pick:
Kinda Funny Games Daily
Broadcasting (as the name suggests) daily on Twitch, YouTube, and your favourite podcast services, a rotating cast of hosts including the core Kinda Funny cast, industry veterans and special guest hosts like acclaimed writer/director Gary Whitta and WWE Superstar Xavier Woods bring you the latest headlines in the gaming space. Airing every weekday, this podcast is the podcast for you for all the latest news in the world of gaming (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, PC, indie games). However, if you find yourself preferring to hear the details surrounding a particular system, then Kinda Funny also provides podcasts that are for the diehard fans of specific gaming platforms in their pair of weekly podcasts.
PS I Love You XOXO
For PlayStation lovers, there is “PS I Love You XOXO”, a weekly show where hosts Greg Miller, Janet Garcia, and Blessing Adeoye (and guests) revel in the nostalgia of Playstation classics (and Greg’s burning passion for the PS Vita), while also engaging in the latest news surrounding upcoming releases, and their first impressions of new titles.
Xbox fans fret not, as the weekly “XCast” has your needs covered, with “Snowbike Mike” and Parris Lilly often helming the broadcast alongside Gary Whitta and the occasional guest. Like with the Playstation equivalent, the Xcast is a place to enjoy the nostalgia of childhood classics and underrated titles, reminisce about multiplayer memories, and hear directly from industry veterans and those directly involved with the systems and games you love.
Wrapping up Kinda Funny’s gaming podcast offerings is the “Gamescast” where reviews, previews, and reactions are all on the menu. Set up in a more “roundtable-like” format, the show is often helmed by a rotating order of hosts including Greg, Tim, Blessing, Mike, Andy, and others. Content often revolves around a summary of the week’s events and news covered in KF Games Daily, the Xcast, and PS I Love You- the perfect catch-up show especially if you’ve had a busy week. It also delves into deeper analysis and discussion over a handful of chosen topics, really grounding the relaxed atmosphere synonymous with Kinda Funny’s podcasts with a structure/framework, the perfect mix of engaging and casual. You’ll hear anything and everything including predictions for upcoming conferences, analyses on the latest trailers, reviews for the newest titles, and conversations about Kinda Funny’s “Game of the Year”
If you’re looking for a relaxed watch/listen, where a group of friends chat about the games they love while engaging in the odd bit of chicanery and sidetracking, then these podcasts are fit for you.
Internal Industry Discussion: Play, Watch Listen
“Play, Watch, Listen” is definitely the podcast that got me deeply invested in the inner workings of the games industry, thanks to the variety of perspectives and conversations it's shared since the podcast’s creation in late 2019. The show sees a quartet of industry professionals - familiar to gaming audiences whether they know it or not - converse about the latest release, controversies, and debates in the world of gaming, film, and TV from the perspective of their individual fields.
The quartet in question consists of: Alanah Pearce (video game writer at Sony Santa Monica), Mike Bithell (game director at Bithell Games), Austin Wintory (game composer behind the likes of ‘Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’ and ‘Journey’), and Troy Baker (yes, that Troy Baker from most games you’ve probably played, my favourites are The Last of Us and Death Stranding).
The show has produced many insightful conversations that illuminate the process of game development; how scores are created (Austin), how programmers and designers navigate each stage of game development (Mike), and how performances and writing have opened the world’s eyes to what video games as a narrative medium can be (Troy and Alanah).
But for all these insightful and engrossing conversations the show is not without its lighter side. In-jokes and laughs ranging from Austin never being able to get to his point due to constant interruption from the others, Mike’s magical bookshelf containing tomes and texts on whatever the conversation may be about at that given time, Troy’s occasional habit of name-dropping and delving into deep philosophical points out of nowhere (baffling the others) and Alanah doing the show’s “intro” in its closing moments due to tangents and side-tracking taking the reins.
The only downside to the show is its slightly infrequent schedule in recent months, perfectly understandable when taking into account the hosts having actual jobs to do- writing the latest Triple-A titles, arranging and composing soundtracks for upcoming (and unannounced) games, working on projects for established IPs like John Wick and TRON, and working on sets with the likes of Neil Druckmann and Hideo Kojima.
Definitely a must-watch/listen for those interested in the inner workings of the gaming sphere and stories from those with a wealth of experience in the acting, composing, programming, and writing worlds.
The amazing thing about the world of gaming podcasts is that there is something out there for you, hopefully, the things I’ve listed could be a starting point for some of you, or a springboard into the unknown for more “seasoned veterans” of podcast listening. At the very least, let’s hope that these suggestions can make your commute a little less boring.
Edited by Gio Eldred Mitre, Gaming Editor