Video Game Podcasts

Thanks to my recent interest in video games and with the end of one of my favorite movie podcasts, I've been looking to video game podcasts to augment my time. Alas, the pickins are somewhat slim. Still, there have been a few bright spots and I've found some other promising prospects as well.
  • Listen Up! - This podcast (formerly known as "1up Yours") is put together by the fine folks over at 1up.com and can be quite entertaining. There are generally about 4 people on the program at any given time - the regular lineup seems to change up semi-frequently (though at the beginning of the year, several people left 1up to work for other publications or even game companies), but there seems to be a pretty constant core 3 people right now, with a rotating 4th person. Each episode runs about 2 hours or so and has a similar format. Each person talks about what games they've been playing that week (which generally takes up about half the show), followed by a segment or two on news, interviews, or questions from their audience. These guys play a lot of games (it is, after all, their job), probably wayyy more than you or I do, but I've found it to be somewhat interesting even when I'm not that familiar with the games they're talking about (which is most of the time). Since they're reviewers, they will often be playing games and giving impressions about them before release (this can be annoying when they say they played a game but can't talk about it because of a press embargo or something). All in all, it's a solid podcast, and they put out a large amount of content on a regular schedule. This has become one of my two main podcasts every week (the other being Filmspotting).
  • The Brainy Gamer Podcast - The companion podcast to Michael Abbott's excellent video game blog, it often features interviews and commentary with prominent journalists or video game professionals. A typical episode runs about 1- 2 hours or so. There's no set format really, so you can get an in depth discussion or a series of smaller discussions. Abbott is an intelligent guy and a decent interviewer, and the show often tackles subjects in ways you don't normally associate with gamers. New episodes seem to be published once a month, towards the beginning of the month. Depending on what's going on, it could be a single episode or multiple episodes (for instance, during the GDC conference, he published a couple of episodes at once, and he had a nice 3 part holiday edition as well). It's not as regular as Listen Up, but it's high quality stuff.
  • Out of the Game - This one's a bit of a cheat since it doesn't focus exclusively on video games, but I gather it's put together by several former video game journalists who like to get together and talk about interesting stuff. There's no real set format for the show, but they seem to come to each episode with a plan and that seems to work out well. It seems to be something of a media diet type show, where each person talks about what they're reading/watching/playing... though it covers other topics as well (and often, they'll discuss interesting ideas that are presented in the book/movie/tv show/game rather than just doing the standard review). The episodes come out around every other week and are typically somwhere between 1.5 and 2 hours long. This has become another of my favorite podcasts, perhaps because the people on the show are always discussing ideas and concepts that are really interesting...
  • A couple of now-defunct podcasts I like are Game Theory (no website anymore) and the long defunct Mastercritic (which was mostly movies, but was put together by people who worked on video games and who did occasional video game episodes).
It remains to be seen whether or not any of these will spur video game playing the way Filmspotting (then Cinecast) spurred moviewatching, but so far, I wouldn't say that it has (perhaps because video games take so much longer to play - it's much easier to keep up with a movie or two a week than it is to play 10 games a week.) Still, I find these podcasts pretty interesting and so long as they continue, I'll be listening...