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Turns out podcasts pair very well with ‘Mario Kart’

Some individuals get used to not having as a lot free time as they did once they had been youngsters. I’m not a type of individuals.

As a working grownup with an admittedly compromised social life (thanks, COVID!) and quite a few different time-sucking obligations, discovering time for each video video games and podcasts has change into a problem. I really, deeply adore each issues; gaming is a lifelong ardour and podcasts have been making me snicker every day for 15 years. I needed to hear loads of speak radio as a child, so podcasts modified every part as soon as I came upon that the format could possibly be humorous and energetic as an alternative of dusty and decrepit.

And since there’s by no means sufficient time for each, I’ve to mix the 2. Rather a lot.

Sure, I consistently sport whereas listening to podcasts. I needed to get by 65 hours of Elden Ring in some way. What may trigger sensory overload for some is a default state of residing for me and different people of sophistication and style. Whereas this behavior of mine could have began as a time-saving measure, it’s really change into the solely approach I can take pleasure in each these leisurely pursuits.

Wait, don’t video games have audio you want to hear?

Screenshot of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

‘Ultimate Fantasy XIV’ is so cool, y’all.
Credit score: Sq. Enix

An apparent drawback with this double-dipping life-style comes from the gaming aspect of the equation, as it is a advanced artwork kind that mixes visible, aural, and interactive parts into one work. You see the phrase “aural” there? Sure, typically you do have to hear video games to progress or in any other case totally take pleasure in them. But when any online game sound designers are studying this, you could wish to cease earlier than you get to the following a part of this sentence as a result of the reality is: You’ll be able to play loads of video games with the pontificate. 

To be clear, I don’t hearken to the faculty soccer podcast Shutdown Fullcast (which is absolutely principally about jet ski accidents) whereas I play any narrative-driven, single participant video games like Yakuza, not less than not the primary time by. I do care loads about story and I do not wish to miss that a part of a sport. Rhythm video games like DJ Hero, multiplayer video games with an emphasis on communication like Rainbow Six: Siege, and albeit something with rockin’ music like Mega Man are additionally exempt. But when any sport options an abundance of mundane duties that don’t require sound to finish, just like the farming sim Stardew Valley, hoo child, my earbuds are on.

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I don’t have the center to search for my playtime in Ultimate Fantasy XIV, however I’ve virtually actually spent dozens of hours doing busywork quests on-line whereas listening to the Giant Bombcast, a podcast about — what else? — video video games. (It’s all gaming, on a regular basis for me over right here.) With out podcasts to maintain my mind engaged, I would’ve gotten too uninterested in the sluggish, early phases of FFXIV and missed out on the unimaginable story it provides within the later expansions.

If I simply placed on a podcast by itself, I am going stir loopy and want one thing else to do. For instance, again in 2014, I needed to hearken to the hosts of the aptly named The Worst Idea of All Time podcast doc their expertise watching Grown Ups 2 (which, I child you not, is generally an ad for K-Mart) as soon as every week for a yr. To perform this admittedly foolish aim, I spent a number of weeks idly racing strangers on-line in Mario Kart 8 with headphones on and the Apple Podcasts app on the prepared. (I dare you to discover a higher solution to grind by 52 episodes of Adam Sandler evaluation. You’ll be able to’t.)

Had I not mixed both of these video games with these podcasts, there’s likelihood I by no means would have gotten by any of them.

There are such a lot of video games that match into that dynamic in my life. Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing are huge podcast companion video games for me. I’ve absent-mindedly wandered round so many Murderer’s Creed worlds whereas listening to individuals yammer about soccer. I’ve planted digital flowers in Animal Crossing with hardcore NBA Finals evaluation within the background. And I’ve farmed for 1000’s of expertise factors in Dragon Quest XI to the tune of wildly insular jokes about Intercourse and the Metropolis 2.

It looks like I am exercising my mind to its fullest potential by pairing video games with podcasts. It is like doing squats whereas juggling, besides it does not take any talent by any means.

Solely so many hours within the day

Stardew Valley screenshot

‘Stardew Valley’ is within the podcast companion video games corridor of fame, for certain.
Credit score: ConcernedApe / Steam

I’m not distinctive on this regard. The time period “podcast sport” usually will get thrown round in my gaming group chat. Combining podcasts and video games saves time, it’s enjoyable and, moreover, you may solely hear Skyrim guards quip about taking arrows to the knee so many occasions earlier than you are able to feed your mind one thing else.

For me, nevertheless, a giant cause why I maintain doubling up on artwork types is that it feels productive. It is to not say that both podcasts or video games are wastes of time, however slightly that this methodology of “double fisting” is the one approach I can attend to each hobbies in a well timed trend.

I believe most individuals would agree that grownup life could possibly be seen as a collection of boring stuff you hate to try this exist purely to get in the best way of doing the stuff you love to do. Residence and job searching, staying on maintain for hours along with your financial institution (solely to not clear up something), grocery buying, and ready on the DMV are just some examples of the issues that take up our treasured time. It’s a sick cosmic joke that work, the largest time-thief of all, is important to fund a gaming behavior within the first place.

So, in a approach, combining gaming with podcasts is extra of a necessity than a pastime. It’s a compromise, certain, however it’s one of many solely methods I can subvert the calls for of the world round me. 

Not less than, that’s how I justify the truth that I spent 300 hours taking part in Mario Kart 8 once I might’ve been studying a brand new language or discovering love, or one thing.

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