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  Whither Gaming Radio?  
Posted 2006-12-06 by Tony Walsh
Writer Jim Rossignol recently wondered if the concept of broadcasting game-specific radio programs has a place outside of Japan, where advertorial programs have been broadcast to support the game Lineage II: "Could this concept be extended to Warcraft's millions? Is there a captive audience there just waiting to be tapped into by games companies and related advertisers? Should MMOs come with built-in radio functions? Can a third party pick up this idea and run a gaming-radio application?" Short answer: Yes.

I thought I'd point out to my readers that while there may not be many official radio programs dedicated to specific games, there are a number of unofficial podcasts floating around. I'm partial to the always-entertaining Taverncast for World of Warcraft, 'Star Wars Galaxies' with Yivvits and Mr. Bubble for SWG, and SecondCast for Second Life (technically not a game, but whatever). Is there a captive audience awaiting commercial messaging through these podcasts? Yes, provided the advertisements aren't obnoxious. Should MMOs come with built-in radio functions? Sure, provided such a function makes sense. Any game genre that supports radio-style broadcasts would be suitable. Can a third party pick up this idea and run a gaming-radio application? While players can and do already tune in to fan-created audio streams, I don't doubt an official server-specific radio station would be a welcome addition to games such as comic-book-themed City of Heroes. It's also worth mentioning that a tournaments in a number of first-person shooter games are broadcast with sports-style flavour commentary. It can be gripping stuff if you're into the game.
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Comment posted by Urizenus
December 6, 2006 @ 6:26 pm
I think these things have been commonplace in social games for a long time. There were lots of radio stations in TSO -- some run by mafias for example. The one I am most familiar with -- Shadow Radio -- was run by the Sim Shadow Government 24/7 and typically their DJs broadcast live from in world (at parties or skill houses or whatever).

There is currently a 24/7 radio station that Anshe Chung runs in her Dreamland continent in Second Life (Dreamland Radio). I can't bear the music, but it's interesting to listen to all the announcements and ads for Second Life events and virtual clothing shops and whatnot. I have no idea how much money it generates, but given that Dreamland has something like 10% of the population of SL I imagine it could deliver a few ears to advertisers. Here is the link if you want to listen in.

Disclaimer: I'm consulting for Anshe these days, so feel free to consider this post blogadvertspam if you want.
Comment posted by Urizenus
December 8, 2006 @ 11:49 am
After I posted the above comment I listened a bit more to Dreamland Radio and decided it was pretty weak, since it doesn't do much live reporting in world.

Meanwhile Taco Rubio has called Phreak Radio to my attention, an SL radio station which seems to have much more robust programming.

Taco assures me that all though the page looks like it was done by a high 14 year old, it was in fact done by a high 40 year old Canadian.

As I'm listening the DJ just referred to Phreak Radio as the rectal prolapse of radio stations. OK, so I guess breakfast is over then.
Comment posted by marctaro
December 10, 2006 @ 3:52 pm
Hey Tony - good panel, interesting discussion. I think I'm the only one at work (Ensemble Studios) that listens to gaming-casts (Taverncast being one of the best, production value wise) - but just the fact that these kind of things exist is fascinating.

Comment posted by Tony Walsh
December 11, 2006 @ 11:07 am
Hey, Marc, glad you could drop by. Gaming podcasts save me from having to log a lot of hours in actually playing a game -- I ditched my Star Wars Galaxies account ages ago, but I still get a summary of what's going on with the game. I don't play WoW anymore, but Taverncast keeps me updated on most of the major news items and player-culture issues. The rest come to me via blog RSS feeds.

Speaking of which, I subscribed to your sketch-blog. woot!
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
December 11, 2006 @ 11:10 am
Uri, thanks for the info, I'm listening to Phreak Radio right now... hopefully I'll hear from the DJ soon, I'm more interested in what s/he might have to say than the music...
Comment posted by NerdyChick
December 13, 2006 @ 4:27 pm
There are actually a number of internet radio stations out there focusing on MMO's and gaming in general. Podcasts aside, there is a large group of underground, indie stations popping up to cater to live, up to date gaming news.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
December 13, 2006 @ 5:05 pm
Got some links for those stations, NerdyChick? I'm interested in hearing what else is out there. Maybe show us your top 3 or 5 or something? Thanks :)
Comment posted by NerdyChick
December 14, 2006 @ 12:51 am
Sure thing, (Live DJs, catering to all MMO's) (Live DJs, catering to CoH/V) (Live DJs or at least it used to be, catering to World of Warcraft) (Live Djs, catering to all roleplaying games including MMO's)

Check em all out if you are so inclined. They are all free streams. I have been a listener of all of them over the past 3 years and wor-radio is my personal favourite.
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