5 Podcasts That Will Make You A Better Gamer, A Better Entrepreneur, Or Possibly, A Better Person

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I spend a fair amount of time listening to podcasts. It’s easy to just stick in the ear buds and turn on my current favourite when I’m walking the dog, or driving around the city. Since I’m subscribed to them on iTunes they are automatically downloaded to my iPhone so the process couldn’t be much easier.

Maybe it’s obvious I like podcasts, I am the host of one. On the Manaverse Podcast I interview successful game store owners from all over North America. We explore what game store entrepreneurship looks like, the nuts and bolts of opening an LGS and running one.

I try to dissect what it is that makes each store and each entrepreneur a winner so that the listener’s can hopefully build better businesses themselves.

I didn’t write this to plug my podcast but I do recommend you check it out. There is a tonne of valuable content on there and a new episode is released every Friday. If you have any interest in the games store business or have aspirations of one day running one of your own, the Manaverse Podcast is the resource you need to listen to.

I am writing this because there are five podcasts that I listen to as often as they release episodes, many days I have nothing to listen to because I’ll run out of episodes to download. These podcasts have either inspired me to try new things, build something that didn’t exist before, or get the fire burning and rekindle my love of Magic.

I recommend you check them out in between listening to my podcast. You might just find something you love.

The Tim Ferriss Show

the tim ferriss showTim Ferriss is the best selling author of the Four Hour Work Week, the Four Hour Body, and the Four Hour Chef. Each book has had a deep impact in how I approach many aspects of life. In his own words he’s a human guinea pig, Tim tests assumptions, runs experiments in his own life and then shares his experiences.

If you want to learn how to become more productive at work, read three times faster, or how to build muscle fast than you have to check out his books and his podcast.

From the Tim Ferriss website: “Each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics and tricks you can use.

Prior guests include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ed Catmull (President of Pixar), Tony Robbins, Peter Thiel (billionaire investor), Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park), Neil Strauss (7x NYT bestselling author), Josh Waitzkin (chess prodigy), and many, many more.

Sirlin on Game Design

sirlin.net podcastDavid Sirlin is one of my favourite game designers. He took his background in competitive fighting games and used those experiences to build a business where he gets to create deep, interesting, and exquisitely balanced games.

He’s the creator of Yomi, Flash Duel, Pandante, Puzzle Strike, and is in the process of developing a new game called Codex.

On his podcast, David discusses game design, the difference between competitive games made for tournament play and those that shouldn’t be made at all, and just generally explores the deep recesses of gaming that most people don’t even realize exist. You may be surprised how nuanced a match can be between two masters of Street Fighter.

I couldn’t recommend his podcast or his games enough. Check out his site to learn more about what he’s working on and to read his blog. He posts regularly about new developments in game design and other projects he’s involved with. You can also find his free book there called Playing to Win.

  • Subscribe to the show (iTunes)

The Eh Team

The Eh Team is one of the best casual/competitive Magic podcasts there is. The show’s four hosts each bring a unique perspective and personality to the conversation and they’re funny on top of it all.

Scotty Mac acts as the dad of the group, keeping the show on topic and on track.

Jay Boosh is a lovable loudmouth whose great at making dick jokes.

Jeremy Schofield brings the more sober, reasoned arguments to whatever the show is about that week.

And KYT contributes the occasional chuckle or “Whoa” to the conversation whenever necessary. He also covers the competitive side of Magic by talking about his own experiences climbing professional Magic player ladder.

If you want to get pumped up to play Magic with your friends while laughing your ass off, subscribe to the Eh Team podcast.

  • Subscribe to the show (iTunes)

The Gaming Careers Podcast

gaming careers podcastThis one I found recently but I find it quite interesting. In my youth I spent a lot of my time creating and writing card games and board games to play with my friends. I thought that game design was what I wanted to do as a career but ultimately set it aside as just a hobby. If I had something like this podcast to listen to 15 years ago, maybe things would have turned out differently.

Stephen Ruduski hosts the show and brings on a variety of guests with experience in the gaming industry as designers, testers, distributors, people with real insight into what it takes to build a gaming career.

If you want to learn about video game design, board game publishing, or a boatload of other topics in the genre, Stephen likely has a podcast episode you should check out.

Stephen is also working on a project that I find intriguing. He’s writing a book on building successful and high- functioning work teams with the same concepts and techniques used in running a successful RPG campaign.

From The Company Bard website: “We learn through roleplaying games how to interact with each other, leverage our unique strengths to overcome obstacles, and how to adapt to adversity.

If we can determine the common threads that make for successful gaming (in terms of goal achievement, collaboration, and personal achievement,) we can also make such teams effective in the workplace.

Check it out if you want to learn more.

  • Subscribe to the show (iTunes)

Hardcore History

hardcore historyThis podcast is a little different from the four listed above it. It doesn’t explore games or business, it digs deep into the history of the world with a focus on the military conflicts that shaped modern societies. Dan Carlin is the host of Hardcore History and frankly, he’s one of the best podcast hosts out there today.

Each show spans multiple hours, Dan uses that time to really explore both sides of whatever conflict is the focus of the show. The stories told and the production quality of the podcast set Hardcore History apart.

The way Dan vividly describes the reality that the soldiers and civilians experienced will suck you in. It will feel like you were in the trenches under enemy shell fire with them. You might find yourself with a deeper appreciation for history, and the war hungry may find they will have less enthusiasm for sending soldiers to war.

The fact that it takes Dan and Ben months to produce a single episode of Hardcore History will give you a clue as to how much they put into each one and why it’s one of the top podcasts in the world. Do yourself a favour and check them out.

  • Subscribe to the show (iTunes)

What podcasts do you listen to on a regular basis (other than the Manaverse Podcast of course)? Leave a comment down below and share your favourite podcast and why.