Every single one of these podcasts is basically defunct at this point. Some of them still sputter out a new episode here and there, but mainly they have all stopped being produced, not because of lack of interest, because everyone involved ended up getting much better jobs because of their talent doing them. While most of them are amazing it gets rather depressing as the farther up the list you go the more that you can hear that everyone involved is aware that the podcast is not long for the world, even though it is better than ever.
I thought that this might be a great topic to bring up since Varms itself is just coming out of some weird limbo of not coming out/getting updated.
5. CO-OP (Area 5)
Probably the closest thing to a success story on the list, not because they made it huge, but because they managed to get gigs making commercials for game companies. As far as I have managed to gather it seems like the entire crew is still out there, together, and able to be hired for anyone that is interested in producing some high-quality video content for games. The downside is that the podcast went through a lot of really weird transitions as the group tried new formats and ways to turn a profit and new content slowly dried up. The worst part was that only the most loyal fans ever really knew what happened as it wasn’t ever really discussed anywhere besides a couple of forums and through 3rd hand sources. You can now pay for their new work on your iPad from the Atomix app for 1 dollar an episode.
4. Infected/Internet Super Star
An internet show about the internet; this isn’t about the memes that go around most offices while everyone is convinced that the boss isn’t looking, this is about the stuff that you either didn’t know about or hope your poor mother will never know is possible in the world. Martin Sargent has the uncanny talent of being the first person to be let go before a series of mass firings; after the G4/TechTV merger started going south he was one of the first to be let go, when Revision 3 started not living up to what the insane amount of investors thought it would he was the first out, and as the This Week in Tech network started to be less of a network and more of one show his pod started to fizzle. He has gone the one place that all creative people worry about ending up, an advertising agency.
3. GFW Radio
Do you want to listen as a magazine starts to tumble under the weight of the digital world? Want to have it be even more upsetting knowing it was possibly written by the most talented and funny people you have ever encountered? My wife is in no way a gamer, but she not only can sing the theme song—on key and with all the words—but was also visibly upset when she found out that the podcast had been cancelled. I, myself, have met Jeff Green (host of the show and editor and chief of the magazine until it was cancelled) and managed to only say how much I loved the show to him. His response was pretty much along of the lines that he knows and misses it as well. The core cast was scattered all over the US after the closing, with most of them getting developer based jobs. Oddly they almost all have their own podcasts after this one folded. Irrational Games is spearheaded by Shawn Elliot, Rebel FM has Chufmoney, the Geekbox has Rydog, and The Comedy Button is pretty much the spiritual successor of everything that was good with the first wave of 1up podcasts.
2. A Life Well Wasted
NPR, but all about video games in interesting ways that most people don’t consider, and without that annoying fund drives. It is also edited and put together by Robert Ashley, the person who pretty much did all of the editing on all of the awesome 1up shows that are no longer produced. People have compared it to “This American Life,” but in all honesty most of the episodes leave a sense of purpose and importance of the entire genre that is video games. The more that I think about it the world seems like more of a tragic place that people are not paying him NPR host grade money somewhere to make sure that this show continues to be a thing. Probably the most important thing about the entire show is that he managed to interview all of the former employees of EGM directly after the closing, something that cost him his job as well, and for people that grew up reading that magazine is almost a must listen. There are currently two albums put out by Robert, both of them are amazing mellow Alt. Rock pieces and are worth a purchase. Every episode of “A Life Well Wasted,” also has mind blowing art that can be purchased in poster format, when they are in print.
1. Idle Thumbs
It is like a time stamp in the world of gaming, and unlike everything else on this list it isn’t just a set of people that work in one place together for hours a day—instead friends that work all over the industry that get together and complain about around things. The show stopped just under 100 episodes, but most of them ended up being weighted more towards the first year of production. The podcast has now died twice, being revived after finding someone to fill the seat of Nick Breckon. The entire show is an interesting look at games as it consists of people who make video games talking about everything that isn’t the games that they have made. Given the fluid nature of the gaming industry it was amazing that the show lasted as long as it did, most of the people simply moved away from each other and the podcast itself simply naturally fell apart.