I actually have no statistics to back up that headline, but I love superlatives, so it stays.
I queued up Massively Online Gamer episode #36 after getting in the car this morning and headed out.
The show, as always, began with music.
I went through the drive-through mail drop off at the post office, through three major intersections, up the onramp onto highway 87, into traffic and got as far as the Curtner exit when I realized I was still listening to music. I looked at the iPod. 12 minutes had elapsed.
I skipped ahead a bit. And then some more. And then even more.
As far as I can tell, nobody says a word in episode #36 until the 22nd minute. And the words don’t get coherent for another minute after that.
If you have a podcast with a 22 minute musical lead-in, there ought to be a warning associated with it.
Not that I am down on the music. The fact that I got through to the 12th minute shows I was into it. The problem is, the only time during my day that I can really concentrate on spoken audio, such as a podcast or an audio book, is during my drive to and from work. That time is valuable and I part with it grudgingly. In fact, I will make an excuse to drive places alone rather than share a ride with somebody, just to expand that listening time.
Music I can listen to while I work. The music enjoying part of my mind seems to be reasonably independent from the part of my mind that tells my fingers what to type in email replies to the constant stream of request from corporate HQ. Even music with lyrics.
Something like a podcast on the other hand, especially something like a gaming podcast (and this was something like a gaming podcast), requires that my brain write data to the same bit of memory that is also used to do almost anything I am involved with at work. So either I mentally tune out the audio or stop working. Neither is desirable in the long run.
High points of the show for me, which I didn’t get to until my drive home from work:
First, talking about Vanguard and making comparisons to its vastness vis a vis the original, early days EverQuest. Excellent observation from the EQ side of things. I am always looking for ways to express how EQ felt on day one, when everything was new, so I can include them in my seemingly never to be finished EverQuest Nostalgia Tour series of articles. Plus, now I have to find somebody in the Vanguard beta so I can look over their shoulder. Or not. No, definitely not. Vanguard sounds like one of those games you might just have to play on day one just to experience it and to have been there.
Second, humming “The Girl From Ipanema.” But only because I hummed along. No, worse, I hummed ahead.
Third, the whole Darkfall thread up to and including what I will refer to as the “Darkfall Challenge.” This was extra special since I had listened to Brent at Virgin Worlds cover the same Darkfall material in his own style only the day before. Somebody’s homework should be to compare and contrast these two reports on the same game.
Just not me, please.