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Podcasting: The Game!


Winter is upon us, and with it, winter holidays. Time for us to spend quality time with our loved ones, who may ask questions like, “So, what have you been up to lately?”
“Oh, I’m making a podcast.” 

Time was that this answer elicited well-intended smiles and glazed eyes. Fortunately, more people are familiar with podcasts now. They’re less likely to ask, “what’s a podcast?” or “how do I listen to one?” They’re more likely to assume that you spend all your time closeted with a bank of computer equipment, ranting obsessively, like Winslow in The Phantom of The Paradise.  

Fortunately, you can put those assumptions to rest and entertain your loved ones simultaneously. As a special winter gift to you, we’ve made Podcasting: The Game!  And now, for 2022, we bring you: Podcasting: The Game: The Expansion Deck! Now it has even more colons and exclaimation points for extra excitement.

What You Will Need to Play Podcasting: The Game!

You will need:

  1. The game board (print it out right up there, bonus points if you let your little cousins color it in).
  2. The cards (print them out, then cut out, shuffle and place face down)
  3. A different coin for each player’s game piece (Remember coins? We used them to purchase goods and services before everything went digital. Ah, nostalgia!)
  4. One coin that’s different from the others you’re using as playing pieces. Or, use Google’s nifty “flip a coin” tool. 

How to Play

The youngest player goes first, and then gameplay passes to the left.

On each turn, the player flips the coin. 

If the coin comes up heads, the player moves forward two spaces. If the coin comes up tails, they move forward one space. 

Always move in the direction of the finish line unless a card directs you to go back. 

After the player moves, they take a card.
Follow the instructions on each card, then put it back on the bottom of the deck. 

If gameplay hasn’t finished by the time you get to the bottom of the deck, the player furthest from the finish line shuffles and replaces the deck, and play continues. 

The first person to get to the finish line is The Best Podcaster Ever, and they get to wear a shiny tiara.*

Popularity contest, beauty contest, competition
It’s not a competition!

Podcasting: The Game: The Extras!

For more challenging, true-to-life play, you can add the following rule. Players can each decide whether or not their podcast has transcripts. If so, they skip their first turn. After that, they move one extra space forward on every turn, regardless of what the card says.

And Now: The Expansion Deck!

This PDF has more cards to show more podcasting challenges. Even if you’ve played the game before, now there are all new adventures in Podcasting: The Game.

Remember the rewarded traffic scandal earlier this year, when podcast directories bought podcast downloads on mobile games to inflate download numbers for certain podcasts? Do you remember when it looked as though Twitter would be The Next Big Thing in podcasting, and then it wasn’t? What about when two big creator-focused platforms laid off significant amounts of staff? Or when Instagram made it easier to promote your podcast with Reels and audiograms? The Expansion Deck shows you that there’s never a dull moment in podcasting.

In 2020, people started listening to podcasts more, but they listened to different kinds of podcasts. Some thought podcasts would suffer because fewer people commuted to work. Then, that rise went down a bit, but the demand for podcasts is still high. Audience tastes are unpredictable, and no one podcast does well (or badly) all the time.

The Object of Podcasting: The Game

The object of the game isn’t to win. It shows the players how podcasting requires a varied set of skills. It also requires patience, persistence, creativity, and meeting deadlines. 

Podcasting: the Game also shows how the obstacles and advantages can seem arbitrary. It shows how preparedness and consistency are necessary to keep moving forward. What matters is human connection, meaning, and balancing how much effort you put in with the enjoyment you get out of it.

Keep this in mind the next time your uncle starts bragging about your cousin who’s a lawyer or a doctor. Not only can they play this game with you, but when they’re ready to make a podcast, you can provide them with your rate sheet for consultancy services. If you play-test this game, let us know!

*Tiara not included.

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