Spotlight

Discovering the Community: Edie Sellers of GameHounds

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The crew on GameHounds has been working together since 2008, bringing you all the latest news on gaming from an adult point of view. We spoke to Edie on the evolution of the show, and how podcasting has helped the GameHounds community grow.

Do you mind introducing yourself?

I’m Edie Sellers (aka GamerEdie) from Northern California. I have two co-hosts, Dave Gardner (aka: Holy Goalie) in Boston and Nick Dinicola in NorCal, as well. I have been a talk-show host and a news reporter/film critic for about 15 years (in fact, I used to work at the same station as another of your bit Spreaker personalities, Len Tillem). Right now I’m a freelance editor. Dave runs hockey leagues, and Nick is a professional writer.

Nice to meet you! How did GameHounds come together?

Originally it was a spin-off from another podcast, with me and another co-host who left the show about three years ago. Over the years we’ve added hosts, and as they’ve left we’ve found replacements. I’ve been the only one to stick it through for five years. Each week, we do a regular news/reviews podcast, but in March, we added Spreaker to our lineup when we went to Penny Arcade Expo in Boston. We’ve done remote podcasting for years, but it’s always been a technological/time challenge, and the results were time-consuming and less-than-stellar. This year, we were able to include live casts and live chat into our interviews from the show floor, which was AMAZING.

Awesome! What do you love about gaming and geek culture? What do you hope your fans get out of the show?

First off, it’s incredibly inclusive. At one time, gaming and nerd culture was a world of young males. Now it’s a global, multi-generational, multi-national, multi-gender space of all types of people. What I love about it is that it encourages enthusiasm. In most communities, there’s a sense that being “too enthusiastic” makes you a bit of weirdo. In gaming culture, that kind of wonkiness is celebrated. And I really love being a 46-year-old woman who can handle herself in a multiplayer game. It blows people’s minds. There’s a celebration of what others used to consider “odd” that is so refreshing and validating, especially since I’ve personally seen gaming culture evolve from being dismissed as a “kid thing” to a multi-billion-dollar entertainment and arts industry. I’ve gone from being “strange” to being “cutting edge,” even by those in the mainstream. Which is cool… and sometimes weird… but certainly cool.

It is totally cool! Why Spreaker?

As I said, in the past, we’ve been hampered when finding a way to take advantage of the immediacy of podcasting in time-senstive situations. For example, when we go to expos or conventions, we very well may be the first people to get our hands on something new, but without having a huge paid staff that we could DEMAND leave the show floor, write a story or record a podcast, and get it up ASAP, we couldn’t get our stuff up fast enough to be the first ones to actually relay the information about what we’ve seen. And if you see something but you don’t get it out to listeners, it’s a proverbial tree falling in the woods. It defeats the purpose of going to events. We spent a lot of time working our asses off, having NO FUN, and still being several hours or days behind professional outlets, at best. I’d come home exhausted and facing many hours of additional follow-up editing, emailing, posting, promoting, and administration of the site. With Spreaker, we had the information out there as soon as it was spoken. And it really helped to integrate our listeners into our interviews. Even when the big outlets get the information out there first, we have the edge of being able to have listeners in the chat room actually ASK QUESTIONS to developers, which even the big sites don’t have. We could immediately give the developer a link to the podcast even before we left the booth, which impressed the hell out them. And at the end of the night, we didn’t have to go back to the hotel room, edit a show, upload it to the server, promote it to social media, and send out email links to the developers we interviewed. We could do that all on our iPhones and it was done instantaneously as soon as we hit stop. At the end of the night, we went out to dinner. We networked. We SLEPT EIGHT HOURS! And we could be more efficient and cover much more ground because we had so much more time without the busywork. It gave us our lives back.

Yes! So glad it’s been working for you. What are your favorite games at the moment?

My two co-hosts assure me that Tomb Raider is better than Bioshock Infinite, which I really enjoyed even if it was a bit weird at the end. I’ve rediscovered Borderland 2 with the new level-cap increase and the new difficulty level. And at the suggestion of a friend and because I really love social gaming (as opposed to “social games,” which I don’t), I’ve come back to Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, which has improved significantly since I last played it months ago and whose players I really enjoy. And despite its flaws, I’m still enjoying SimCity, though I expected more social playing with it. What a shame. Anyway, Goalie is in a bit of an Xbox funk, but he just bought a new gaming laptop and has opened himself up to the world of Steam. He’s hitting a lot of older titles, but he’s just in the “discovery mode,” which is exciting to see. We all plowed through Bioshock Infinite, and most of us have played the new Tomb Raider (I haven’t and I’ll be doing so soon, since everyone else thought it was better than Bioshock). We were hoping Dead Island Riptide was better than it is.

What new ones are you looking forward to

Two of us are waiting until the price drops to pick up Dead Island Riptide. And as I said, I’m probably going to hit Tomb Raider soon. But otherwise we are all waiting on something to release. I’m just holding my breath for Saints Row IV and Grand Theft Auto V. Goalie is waiting patiently for Splinter Cell. Nick’s a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed and he’s pretty impatient for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag to hurry up and release, and both Nick and I really want The Last of Us right now! I know Nick’s really waiting on Transistor (which I am also really excited for), and he’s alerted us to Mars: War Logs, which he says looks to be pretty awesome. And the critic part of me is also waiting to see what Elder Scrolls Online has to offer, but I’m very apprehensive about it. It’s a long way off, but we are also really are very curious about Watch Dogs, which looked AMAZING at PAX East.

Do you rely on social networking to promote the show?

Oh yeah. It’s absolutely invaluable to us. It’s the only way for people to know when we’ve started up a Spreaker show and can hit us up live. We also post a player on our website after the fact, but if people want to be part of the show, they know to be watching our individual Facebook accounts and our GameHounds Facebook page. And Twitter, of course, gets our reach out to a very wide audience. It’s amazing how quickly people will jump into chat when they know we’re on. And if we know a show is coming up, we not only pump it like crazy on FB and Twitter, we also put it up on our website, which hits our RSS feed.

Has this podcast helped you personally or professionally?

Oh yes. Personally, it’s reduced so much stress out of my life. It allowed me to go to PAX East this year and actually enjoy myself. That hasn’t happened in years. I wish we were doing more expos so we could do more Spreaking. It’s a bit of an addiction, especially when you’re still in the wonderment of doing something in 10 seconds that used to take you half a day to do on a laptop in a hotel room. Professionally, we now have a really great, low-cost, low-time-committment way to do interviews. This opens up a whole new world of opportunity to us. I don’t dread interviews at all, anymore. And with the instant access to the show on demand, and the link, I’ve been able to do a lot more networking with developers—especially medium-sized developers who really appreciate grassroots media attention. Now we can give them that attention, and it’s opened up a huge dialogue with them. We’ve become more relevant in the gaming-media space specifically because of Spreaker.

And you guys definitely deserve the attention. Anything else you’d like to share? 

Right now we’re like a bunch of kids given a new toy. We’re experimenting with what we can do. It’s a bit challenging, since we live on different coasts and don’t really see each other but once or twice a year. Right now we’re doing an “after show” from our regular recorded podcast. And people from all over the world are actually scheduling it into their week so they can be part of the show. But we’ve toyed with ideas like “Celebrity Cards Against Humanity,” where we find a local dev or celeb and play Cards Against Humanity with them over drinks. We are also in the midst of scheduling some developer interviews using Skype. We kind of wanted to get our feet wet and make sure the whole Skype-Spreaker thing worked well before we dove in, since our first use of Spreaker was with an iPhone at a live event.

Our first interview, I expect, will be with the developer FrogDice, who we spoke to at PAX East but had some connection issues with the feed and it didn’t go out. No idea when that will happen, but it will be the first of many.

We definitely will livecast our commentary of the new Xbox console when Microsoft reveals it on May 21. We’ll all watch the stream from the event, and we’ll livecast on Spreaker simultaneously with an open chat room so our community can enjoy (or not) the moment together.

Awesome job Edie, thanks so much for talking to us!

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