What Are Your Favorite Geek Podcasts?

Entertainment Geek Culture Podcasts Videogames
Image: Patrick Breitenbach via Flickr
Image: Patrick Breitenbach via Flickr

I have a very short commute–like walk-to-the-living-room short–so I rarely give new podcasts a try since the place I’m most likely to listen to them is in the car.

But this summer I’ve been taking the kids to camp, and I have about an hour of driving time to myself. Though I’m partial to Welcome to Night Vale or the Nerdist podcast, I’ve been listening instead to Adam Cadre’s new Radio K podcast, an hour discussion about interactive fiction. My only complaint is that there are only two episodes currently in the queue, so I’m anxiously awaiting for Cadre to make more.

The premise is simple: Cadre missed most of the early, commercial interactive fiction games in their heyday, and he missed most of the more recent interactive fiction games. But in between there are the games that came out while he was ensconced in working on his own well-received games such as Photopia or 9:05. So the podcast aims for games that he missed the first time around, almost all from 2002 until today. In each podcast, he brings a few people onto the show to discuss a game they each played to prepare. All the games, so far, have been IFComp or XYZZY award-winning games.

Interspersed between critiques of the actual games are facts about interactive fiction in general and game construction. Anyone who is currently writing their own games–whether they’re textual or graphical in nature–could take something useful away from the discussion.

And it’s just fun. I’ve played a few of the games so far but haven’t been exposed to others, and I get equal enjoyment out of both types of segments. The spoilers are minimal, and, if anything, they help you to mentally prepare for the puzzles ahead in the game more than give you the direct answer. Plus I loved that one of the players in the second episode was a seventh grader. Here’s to raising the next generation of geeks.

So, Cadre, put out another episode. I have many more weeks of camp commuting to go.

What are your favorite geek podcasts? Add them in the comment section below, or grab a suggestion if you’re looking for something new to download for your commute.

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14 thoughts on “What Are Your Favorite Geek Podcasts?

  1. Rachel and Miles X-plain the X-men is an outstanding in-depth analysis and social commentary on the popular comic book series. If you have even a passing interest in this topic, they are worth a try.

  2. I commute over an hour each way multiple days a week, and then do podcasts as I go to the gym after the kids are down, and then when i get back from the gym and the wife is passed out….so I listen to a LOT of them. Not all of them are geeky, but i’ll just list them all out and give a one or two sentence summary for those interested with my favorites starred:

    – *All About Android – Things related to the Android platform and Google. Changes, hardware, apps…that kind of thing.
    – Android App Arena – App specific Android recommendations
    – Audio Smut/The Heart (it’s going through a name change right now) – This one’s about things both romantic and carnal. Really great editing and i love that the record in a binaural fashion (headphone recommended here for more than just content)
    – DLC – gaming podcast covering video games and tabletop style games.
    – Freakonomics Radio – A look at every day questions and problems through the lens of an economist
    – Fw:Thinking – A look at questions with a history and the future of the technology that address it.
    – *Gamers With Jobs – A video game podcast by just a bunch of guys.
    – Judge John Hodgman – Comedy internet court. Think Judge Judy with a funnier judge.
    – *My Brother, My Brother and Me – Three brothers (the McElroy brother) do improv and give advice (that no one should follow) to their audience.
    – NPR: Ask Me Another – Game show style trivia with audience participation and music mixed in (Jonathan Coulton is the musician)
    – NPR: How to do Everything – Variety random nonsence show that’s funny and you’ll pick up random tidbits of knowledge that will only help you if you’re ever on Jeopardy.
    – NPR: Invisibilia – Stories, questions and answers about the invisible forces all around us
    – NPR: Planet Money – Economic topics explained for non-economists
    – NPR: Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me – News based trivia with some comedy mixed in.
    – Reply All – A podcast about the internet and the strange things you find on it.
    – Savage Lovecast – General sex advice that’s so blunt and frank it’s utterly refreshing in my life.
    – Sawbones – A comedy podcast about medical history and the strange things doctors used to do.
    – Serial – Perhaps the podcast that put things on the map for those that weren’t into it, it’s a single real story told over thirteen episodes.
    – Slate’s Mom and Dad Are Fighting – A comedy parenting podcast
    – StarTalk Radio – Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about space and pop culture at the same time.
    – StartUp – Episodic story following a group of people trying to become a company.
    – Stuff You Missed In History Class – Mostly obscure history podcast
    – Stuff You Should Know – Explanatory podcast about a single topic, twice a week
    – Tech News Today – Daily tech news show
    – *The Adventure Zone – A comedy podcast that plays D&D (note the emphasis on comedy and the de-emphasis on D&D). Played by the three brothers from My Brother, My Brother and Me and their dad.
    – The memory palace – A history podcast that tells a good story
    – The New Screen Savers – Basically a tech variety show
    – *The Truth – A well product short story fiction podcast
    – *This American Life – Multiple stories about life all revolving around a single theme.
    – *We Have Concerns – A science and comedy podcast.
    – *Welcome to Night Vale – Imagine everything occult, strange and odd is real in a single place. This podcast is the public radio station of that place.


  3. Didn’t want to dilute my recommendation of Rachel and Miles – except for their quirky, recent Giant-Size episode their show has been the biggest, most pleasant surprise of all podcasts.

    But there are a few other podcasts on my weekly rotation:

    99% Invisible – excellent vignettes about design
    Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything – excursions into the implications of technology-first industry
    Song Exploder – Interviews with musicians about the genesis of a song and its construction
    Wiretap from CBC Radio – a humorous “This Canadian Life”
    Thrilling Adventure Hour – a staged radio drama
    KCRW’s UnFictional – interesting stories
    Sound Opinions – the podcast of the NPR show

  4. My favorite comic book podcasts don’t tend to touch on Marvel or DC as much, since my personal taste doesn’t either, but here are some:
    -Stuff Said, in-depth interviews with Gregg Schigel
    -Less Than Live with Kate or Die, reviews and interviews with Kate Leth
    -And there’s several podcasts hosted by a Michigan cartoonist and teaching artist Jerzy Drozd, my favorites are Comics Are Great, Kids Comics Revolution and Saturday Supercast. They don’t get updated very often, but there’s a pretty substantial back catalogue. And many episodes feature kid’s comics power couple Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier!
    -Fans of Bounded Enthusiasm should definitely check out Let’s Get Busy, interviews with kid-lit notables like Mac Barnett, Bob Shea, James Kochalka and many others.
    -There are tons of Star Wars podcasts, and I honestly haven’t checked out most of them, but the one I don’t miss is Star Wars Minute, a deconstruction of the original trilogy one minute at a time. Super fun!

  5. My favorite podcasts:
    Welcome to Night Vale – A local community radio broadcast from a town so used to Lovecraftian horrors that it’s just everyday news
    The Thrilling Adventure Hour – A modern spin on old-timey style radio shows, two of the best segments are “Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars” (a goofy cowboy western serial with aliens and robots) and “Beyond Belief” (1930s era socialites solve paranormal mysteries between cocktails)
    NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour – panel discussion on current pop culture, most of the panelists are pretty geeky so SF & comics come up regularly
    NPR: Ask Me Another – very funny word games and trivia show
    NPR: Planet Money – Stories about how economics drives so many things behind the scenes, enlightening stuff
    99% Invisible – History, Design, and Architecture

  6. 99% Invisible
    Stuff You Should Know
    Stuff You Missed in History Class
    Indoor Kids
    The Canon
    Talkin Toons with Rob Paulson
    Nerdist Writers Panel
    The Allusionist
    The Download
    CARDBOARD! with Rich Sommer
    Gamers with Jobs – Conference Call

  7. I might be biased, but I’m a fan of the Once and Future Podcast, hosted by Anton Strout. I love hearing from speculative fiction authors every week. I always feel like I learn so much about the genre and about the writing life. I also really love hearing about what the authors geek out about, whether it’s gaming, or mythology, or whatever their passions are. The show is like a casual conversation rather than an interview. I always feel like I get to know my favorite genre creators better.

  8. NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour
    How Did This Get Made
    Sword & Laser
    Judge John Hodgman
    Lightspeed Science Fiction & Fantasy
    Lost Rewatch
    The Moth

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