Home > Games, My writing > How Podcasts Influence the Games I Play (Article)

How Podcasts Influence the Games I Play (Article)

I listen to quite a few podcasts. Since I consider gaming my main hobby — and the one I’m most passionate about — the vast majority of those podcasts end up being related to games. I’ve discovered a surprising corollary to all this podcast listening: Podcasts are actually influencing the games I play.

By that I don’t mean that I’ve heard about a game on a podcast and then went out and bought it, although I have done that. No, I’ve found that because I listen to podcasts while I’m gaming, I often decide what game I’m going to play based on whether new podcasts are available.

This often presents me with a dilemma, as it most recently did with Dragon Age: Origins. Since it’s an RPG, the game features a hefty amount of dialogue, and most all of that dialogue is important to the development of either the story or the characters. On top of that, the small sliver of inessential dialogue is still definitely worth listening to. For me, this signals that Dragon Age is most definitely not a podcast game. I’d either miss important dialogue or be constantly pausing the podcast any time a dialogue tree popped up. Either of these options would greatly effect the flow of both the podcast and the game.

So what sort of game do I pick out when the latest episode of the Mobcast drops? I certainly don’t play anything that requires listening to lots of dialogue or concentrating on reading text. Instead I look to arcade-style games and multiplayer modes.

One recent example of a perfect podcast game is Modern Warfare 2. Missing out on the dialogue won’t hamper the experience, and all the sound effects and audio cues can still be heard with the volume lowered to a reasonable level so as not to drown out the podcast. Other similarly great podcast games I’ve found are Halo 3 (multiplayer), Burnout Paradise, and Borderlands (single player). Open-world games in particular are a great option, as you can avoid any story-heavy missions and focus on side quests that don’t generally require you to pay too much attention to the dialogue. Finally, if you’re itching to complete a second playthrough of a single player game, podcasts can be a great companion.

Maybe this concept is something unique to me, but it got me thinking: What else affects the games we play? I know oftentimes gamer parents will exclusively play violent or mature games once the kids are out of sight. Other people will often play a certain game because their girlfriend or boyfriend wants to watch them play.

Does podcast listening have any bearing on the games you play? Are there other surprising influences that factor into your gaming decisions?

Originally published on BitMob.com

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