I’ve been listening wargaming podcasts lately, and finding a lot of good ones. Unfortunately it’s slow, because I prefer to listen to several episodes before making a judgment and a lot of the good ones are long—2 or even 3 hours isn’t uncommon. So expect to see a trickle of endorsements over the next few weeks from that field.
Games in Libraries
by Kelly Czarnecki, Beth Gallaway, Jenny Levine, Chris Harris, Eli Neiburger, and Jason Puckett
But first, something unexpected and delightful: Games in Libraries. Each episode is a bit under an hour, and they’re coming out about monthly. Topics range widely, from interviews with game designers to reviews of games and systems to a bit of everything. Episode 7 has an overall focus: it’s about preparing to host an event as part of National Games Day, coming up in November. The spread of topics is great, including the nitty-gritty of tournament planning, reviews of easy-to-learn and easy-to-teach games, build-your-own-fun tools like the Spore creator and Sim Carnival, freebies from Hasbro and WotC and how to get them, and so on. Some of the presenters are better speakers than others, but everyone sounds happy to make their contributions and has something of substance to say.
I tend to think of games in libraries in primarily educational terms and I’m somewhat resistant to the idea of trying to make libraries omni-purpose gathering spots, but the contributors are winning me over with their presentation of the merits of community-building in libraries. The tone of the podcasts goes a long way to winning me over. It’s thoughtfully happy, excited about possibilities, but not ignoring or downplaying complications.