05 August 2007

Gaming Podcast: The Spiel

When I discovered podcasting near the end of 2005, most of the shows in the gaming category were about videogames. Slowly some shows about roleplaying games and miniatures showed up, then the family boardgamers came out of hiding. I think I've listened to almost all the podcasts devoted to boardgames, and The Spiel is my current favorite.

The Spiel is hosted by Stephen Conway and David Coleson. While they maintain the casual air of two friends sitting in the living room, the show is divided into different segments that give it a polish not found in many independent podcasts. Conway and Coleson must have listened to other podcasts and took notes about what works and what doesn't work. From the very first episode they sounded smooth and in control.

My favorite segments are Back Shelf Spotlight and Game Sommelier. Back Shelf Spotlight is the segment where Conway and Coleson talk about older games and games that got very little press. The choices range from modern Eurogames to public domain chestnuts such as cribbage. Game Sommelier is a challenge between the presenters. One of them picks five games that fit a certain criteria (such as games for a wine-tasting party) while the other votes on how well it was met.

I would recommend this podcast to boardgaming newbies because of the presenters' focus. Conway and Coleson embrace the idea that any game is worth playing as long as it is fun. You won't find any snobbish attitude toward party games or beer-and-pretzel games on this show. Go check it out!

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