I love critical discussion, I love diverse voices, and I love video games. So, for this week’s Web Crush Wednesday, I want to highlight the Match 3 podcast. Only in its eighth episode, Match 3 has already shown itself to be a fantastic addition to any podcast lineup. Starring Kotaku reporter Patrick Klepek, freelance writer Gita Jackson, and middle school teacher Sam Phillips, the show hosts a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints. Each week they discuss a bit of gaming news, go through a roundtable discussion, and answer viewer questions. Although this sounds relatively standard, Match 3 stands out for a few reasons.
As each contributor is a Chicago resident, the podcast is recorded in-person, which creates a very personal feel. The hosts have great chemistry and you can tell that they have a solid respect and friendship for each other. Whether or not they necessarily agree on a point, their conversations build on each others’ input to create fresh perspectives. As with many other podcasts we’ve talked about, fresh perspectives are sorely needed in our gaming spaces. As a Black woman, Gita brings perspectives from both the Black experience and female experience. Besides just having its own freshness, these perspectives can cover Patrick and Sam’s blind spots if necessary. In a different vein, Sam’s experience teaching children gives him insight into some aspects of gaming that adults may dismiss. Even during their news segment, they don’t result to basic praise and consumerist-driven “advertising-speak” in the way that many outlets are still stuck doing. Their discussions go a bit deeper into what sort of impact games can have on a culture.
Their next section is typically roundtable discussion involving articles or pieces picked by each of the members. These articles are submitted by the hosts before the show to each other. The three then pick one to go into an in-depth discussion about. These articles are often closely related to gaming culture, more so than specific games, and are really informed by current trends.
They also sometimes delve into other nerd/geek/tech culture-related topics. For me, this is the selling point of the show. Again, they discuss the impact games will have on the industry and the culture as a whole. They go into quick descriptions of the two pieces they didn’t discuss in-depth. However, they do talk about why those other pieces were important, which is what all games deserve.
Lastly, peppered in at different spots each week, they discuss what they’ve been playing. While this seems to be a podcast standard, it is nice to hear about some games that might not be the new AAA hotness. Given Gita’s work in the #AltGame space, and Sam’s work with younger players, some truly interesting selections come up, in particular, agar.io, a game that Sam’s students loved. After some quick discussion, Patrick and Gita agreed that it was a novel concept and surprisingly deep. However, they would have most likely not have seen it without the children’s experience. It is especially nice to hear about alternative games, indie games, and AAA games in concert, because this really underscores how gaming really is for everyone.
Finally, they close out with viewer mail and show reviews. People often write in questions for the hosts to discuss and answer. The questions have a large range of topics, so I won’t go through them here, but, the hosts maintain their laid-back demeanor and unique approach. These commitments to the audience keep engagement up, and show that the hosts are really passionate about both the podcast and their work on the whole.
Overall, Match 3 is a great new gaming podcast. The crew is very charming, and paired with their knowledge about various types of games and interesting viewpoints, the show keeps listeners wanting to come back. If you are looking for something engaging, funny, and refreshing about video games, give the show a try! You can find them on Twitter @match3podcast or their show here!
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