Last week, I was at a birthday party. Naturally, I brought up Dungeons and Dragons as a topic. Someone there understood the reference, but then asked me “but how do you play?”
Nowadays, we understand tabletop roleplaying games through references from our favorite streaming shows. But less of us know HOW the game is actually played.
And that is why I refer to listen to actual play podcasts.
Here are a few reasons why I think listening will increase as a medium for entertainment.
Radio Shows – do you remember this? Chances are, you probably don’t, because no families sit around the fireplace and radio, listening to their favorite story. Stories like Abbot and Costello, Roy Rogers come to my mind, but I know there are hundreds more. FDR spoke his fireside chats and we all listened. Radio, unlike television, requires everyone to pitch in with their imagination. With the sense of sight not being appeased, I believe listening to a show helps the audience participate more with the entertainment.
Here are a few things I do have in my life: cable, movie theaters, dvds, or more than 2 streaming services. There are a lot of great movies and shows out there, but lately, the stories are starting to smell of recycling. I have been more entertained by listening to someone “rewrite” hellywood’s stories rather than actually watching the movies. With actual play podcasts, I get a fresh story, because I’m certain the players at the table simply want to have a good time, make each other laugh and get a chance for a few good moments in the game. Ironically, this translates into better storytelling than a multimillion dollar company of experts.
Thanks for reading this bit of a rant, but also a call to action. If you want to be happy, get into the habit of creating your own entertainment. Make art – a simple expression of linguistic creativity and do so with friends. Lately, my favorite entertainment has been doing just that through my podcast Sojourners, Awake!
Take the time to visit these creative works below who have brought me inspiration.
- Stack O Dice – a family friendly, actual play podcast
- Stories by Sarah Danielle – a dark fantasy audiobook on elves in the underdark
- Tomes of the Chaos Bard – a family friendly, actual play podcast
- Tale of the Manticore – a dark fantasy solo play game
- Legend of the Bones – a dark fantasy solo play game
For me, the best time to enjoy a podcast is while driving. I also listen while doing chores like laundry and dishes. Sometimes I play the podcast while making dinner. I’m sure you could make room today for one of these great stories in your day! If you enjoyed this writing, leave a comment, or share with a friend. We need more creative works in the world.