Poly Game Review (PGR), a reviewing group based at the California Polytechnic University: San Luis Obispo, has been in the works recording a new podcast, hosted by the members of PGR. The club, founded a few years ago but took off last year, is now presided over by statistics major Brittany Ross who, alongside her vice president/treasurer Jackson Goyette, serves as a mediator for the PGR podcast.
The PGR podcast has been in the work for about a year new, but recording the sessions only started last quarter. The idea for the podcast came from a combination of Ross, club members, and the general rise in video game podcasts.
From the Co-Optional Podcast featuring TotalBiscuit (John Bain), Jesse Cox, and Dodger (Brooke Lawson) to the Giant Bombcast hosted by the staff at Giant Bomb, video game podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular way to discuss and share information about video games.
However, video games aren’t the only ones benefiting from the rise of podcasts. Podcasts are increasingly being used as a new form of storytelling. Renown podcasts such as Serial helped increase public awareness of the medium, and since then, many new writers have turned to it in order to tell stories. The appeal of podcasts lies in using sounds and sensory details to engage the listener, rather than just reading words off a paper as in a book or typical news article.
In 2011, Emma Rodero of the Popeu Fabra University tested this theory using radio dramas. In the study, she concluded that:
“…the dramatised story contributes to a far greater extent when it [came] to encouraging the imagination of the listener thanks to a greater rate of vividness and a heightened generation of images…”
For PGR, the appeal of doing a podcast lies in the ease of conversation it brings. Every other week, the members of PGR get together to brainstorm topics. Members are actively encouraged to seek out topics they’re interested in, rather than focusing on keeping their topics current.
Transcription: “We started this club because there was a lot of misinformation and bias in game journalism, so we wanted to counteract that. We think a good way of doing that is letting people talk about what they want to talk about.”
By doing this, Ross explains, they’re able to discuss a larger variety of topics. On the podcast, PGR has even covered things such as video game movies and video game companies — not video games specifically, but definitely part of the overall video game culture.
While a set release date for the PGR video game podcast hasn’t been decided, the goal for the group is to finish recording sometime by the end of the quarter, and hopefully release a first episodes before spring. Most likely, the podcast will be available on the PGR website, but plans of a Youtube release are also being talked about.