6 Gaming Podcasts by and For Women

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So, quick confession: I don’t like music. At least, I never think about listening to music. Unfortunately, I also hate silence. My best work environment is a crowded cafe. I’m lulled to sleep by city sounds, and maybe some Gilmore Girls in the background. One day I asked my roommate, who is also not a music fan, what she listens to while running. That is when the Sound Cherubs descended from the Heavens and brought The Podcast to my attention. (Apparently people have been listening to these for years but I was too busy bonding with my XBox to know.) Immediately I went in search of gaming podcasts by women. There’s a sense of peace and joy when I find the intersection of two of my nerdy hobbies. It’s a kind of validation. Look! At least one other person likes two of the same things I like! Such was the case when I discovered the “gaming podcast.” Being a gay woman-identified gamer often means finding almost nothing made for me on the usual internet sites. I have to dig for it.

I present the result of my journey to you.


The Heroine’s Journey

via SAMMUS

via SAMMUS

The Heroine’s Journey is one of the newer podcasts on this list. I first heard the creator, LC Brown, on the Gamers With Jobs show. GWJ is normally a bunch of dudes, with occasional woman-identified guests. HJCast is absolutely spectacular so far. It’s not strictly gaming, though almost every episode brings up at least one video or tabletop game. The focus of HJ is women in popular culture. It’s almost weekly — she’s missed a couple here and there — and she always has great guests. If you’re a fan of geeky tv and comic books as well as gaming, I highly recommend this one. LC is super nice too and hosts chats with her Patreon supporters. Absolute favorite so far was Episode #11: Metroid, with special guest rapper SAMMUS, a.k.a. Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo.

Justice Points

Justice Points has been around for a while, with over a hundred episodes: “using social justice and feminism to cut a swath across video games.” JP is run by Tzufit and Apple Cider. They are both outspoken feminists who aren’t afraid to critique the games they love the most. Their critical discussions of geek culture have really helped inform a lot of my own opinions over the last few years. They also offer over thirty of their episodes as typed transcripts for the hearing impaired. I suggest starting with “#101 Waxing Nostalgic,” in which they chat with the ever-amazing Cara Ellison about sex in video games and the transition from gaming journalism to game development.

Not A Game

Speaking of Cara Ellison, she was part of the cast of Not a Game Podcast, along with Jordan Erica Webber, Philipa Warr, and two dudes, Tom Hatfield and Craig Lager. This show has been going strong for two years now and is known for being rather fun and witty. The folks at NaG are also not afraid to pull punches, and their combined years of gaming journalism experience really shows. Plus, the show is full of delightful, diverse accents. Although they have several episodes about Sims (an Autostraddle reader favorite it seems), I suggest starting from the very beginning with Episode #1 “We Have Infinite Women,” partially to hear Cara Ellison speak, but also because all of the episodes are great.

Fresh Out of Tokens

The newest podcast on this list is already amazing and they’re only on Episode 3. Fresh Out of Tokens is run by Tanya D. and David Reeves. Do you all know who Tanya D. is? You should! She’s amazing, I’m a huge fangirl of hers, and she’s making waves in the gaming community. Way before the start of this podcast she created the hashtag, tumblr and movement known as #INeedDiverseGames. Now she’s gotten around to making a podcast and I love it. It is biweekly, and focuses on “diversity, inclusion, intersectionality and feminism in gaming.” Definitely start at the beginning with this one. That way you can be one of the cool kids and when they get to Episode 100 you can say you’ve been there since the beginning.

Unconsolable

Unconsolable (which, great title) is a fairly unique addition to the gaming podcast world. Anna Tarkov and Jessica Dennis run a show all about mobile games. Well, they talk about some other cool stuff too, but most of my interest is in the thumb sports. For years I’ve been arguing that cell phones are the best way to convert people to gaming, and Unconsolable gets it! You don’t need fancy equipment to be a gamer, there are great free mobile games available right now on your cellular device! These two gamers are also great to their fans and love including them in the conversations. Start with Episode #36, “Stop Making Trash Games.”

Game On Girl

Recently I started listening to old episodes of Game on Girl. Once a weekly show, they have stopped creating the podcast and now do monthly hangouts with their fan base instead. From what I’ve heard of their work so far, this was a real loss to the gaming community. Regina McMenomy wrote her dissertation on women gamers, which is how I found the podcast. She then started the site and ran the show with Rhonda Oglesby, one of the most adorable nerds on the air ever. GoG was started back in 2012, so there’s quite a bit of archive to check out. I don’t have a specific episode to suggest yet, but Episode #1 does tackle the ever present question of “What Does It Mean to Be a Gamer?”


There are many other podcasts like Game on Girl that have ended over the years. It’s hard to say goodbye to some of them, especially knowing that more viewers and a bit more support would have saved them. Whenever I talk about gaming podcasts, someone brings up Video Game Taco, the female-led version of Video Game Hot Dog. Very cis-centric named, but many people have great things to say about VGT and it ended two years ago. Some Other Castle ended very recently due to creator burnout, as did Ladies of Leet. I don’t want to say goodbye to the other shows on this list, so all of you, become rabid fans with me please!

It’s important to support these nerdcasts run by ladies because they have it hard out there. Podcasts take a lot of time, energy, and knowhow to create, often without ever becoming lucrative. (Many of these shows have Patreons or other methods of financial support if you end up loving them.) I was babbling about how great some of these podcasts were to my gamer dude friend. His response: “Oh, they’re all by women? Forget it.” WHAT?! This seems to be the unfortunate opinion of many mangamers and so these podcasts aren’t getting the word of mouth that they deserve.

So, geeks, which podcasts did I miss? What should I be listening to and supporting and nerdgasming all over?

Al Rosenberg is the Games Section Editor for Women Write About Comics, a Shimer College proselytizer, and general Obsession Collector. Currently she's acquiring tattoos in Chicago in-between zine-making, Hebrew lessons and Adventure Time marathons.

Al has written 7 articles for us.

33 Comments

  1. It’s not a gaming podcast, but the Verge ESP, is a science and entertainment podcast, which is hosted by two women, Emily Yoshida and Elizabeth Lopatto(science editor). They work well of each other imho. Worth a listen.

  2. YAS GREAT ARTICLE. And these podcasts sound like a much-needed antidote to gamergate. I’m going to listen to these while I wait for you to make your own, Alex. Do it. Do it. Dooo it. Do itttt.

  3. I think a must listen for gaming podcast is Isometric. It’s a weekly podcast with Brianna Wu, Maddy Myers, Georgia Dow, and Steve Lubitz. I definitely recommend starting from the beginning since they have a couple of inside jokes, but it’s totally worth it. If you do decide to go from the beginning, you should know that it was before all the gamergate stuff hapenned last year, and Brianna Wu was a target of the movement, so there are a couple of episodes that have all sorts of triggering stuff (they warn you when it happens, so you can skip them.) One of the most fun things about it is that all four of them is that they have different tastes in games, so it can lead to very different discussions, and they are not afraid to criticise things.

  4. Alex! Something I love about this site is its ability to interest me in things that normally don’t come to me naturally, like gaming! and podcasts! You are so coool and I’m so glad to see this article!!!!

  5. it’s here! you’re here! I love you and you’re beautiful! I listened to my first Podcast last week and it was awesome. I am totally listening to one of these later.

    okay Alex seriously I love you

    get ready for all of our gaming convos we will be having shortly

  6. I’m a massive fan of the Podquisition. It’s hosted by Jim Sterling, who is essentially the platonic ideal of a feminist dude. One of the other hosts is Laura Dale, a fabulous gaming journalist and an outspoken representative of the trans and queer communities. Their discussions range from the strangest indie games to complaining about the shitty behaviour of massive publishers. It’s also really hilarious. Like, laughing-my-ass-off-on-a-train-and-looking-mental kind of hilarious. Totally worth checking out.

  7. Great article! You’re right, it’s absolutely important to support female creators, especially in areas where they are underrepresented (and potential targets for online attacks). I’ll be sure to check these out, thanks for bringing them to our attention!

  8. Thank you so much for this!! I was just looking for some podcasts for when i have to travel by bus and I already found some amazing episodes among these!

    One thing though: I fucking hate when native speakers use ‘like’ and ‘you know’ every fucking second word!!! Wtf is that! Ugh!!!! Staaaahp!

  9. No one ever seems to recommend me podcasts I’d be remotely interested in, but you’ve broken the soul-destroying cycle! Looking forward to giving these a listen. Thanks, Alex! \o/

  10. Ah, thank you Alex for the wonderful praise. I love reading Autostraddle and I’m beyond tickled at seeing our podcast up here. Thank you for supporting JP and thanks to all the new fans! Hope you love it as much as we do! 🙂

  11. Thanks so much for mentioning our show and I’m especially thrilled to see so many commenters saying they plan to check us out. We can’t wait to see you all around the Unconsoleable clubhouse 🙂 Feel free to let us know anytime you have questions, comments or suggestions for us; we love hearing from listeners!

  12. There’s Bitch Team Alpha (@btapodcasts on Twitter) who have a number of different geek shows, and they’re all women!!

    Also The Dialogue Wheel (@dialoguewheel on Twitter), which has focused on BioWare in the past but has now spread out to encompass geek culture as a whole. Everything they do is studying diversity. Miss Bobinks is the host & only producer.

  13. For those of you into the spookier side of nerdery there’s the excellent Faculty of Horror podcast with two ladies, Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West taking an academic and analytical view of horror movies. the episodes come out about once a month but are well worth the wait and have a great backlog each episode focuses on a certain movie or horror trope

  14. Thank you so, so much for the kind words about Fresh Out of Tokens podcast. I’m really humbled and flattered. So happy for your write up of our young show. Would love to have you on sometime too!

  15. Thank you SO MUCH for the shout-out, Al! Glad you’ve been enjoying the show, and thank you for listening!

    Unfortunately, I’ve recently had to take a few weeks off from the show (due to some physical and mental health issues), but I don’t anticipate the break will last too much longer. I’ll be back in the saddle again soon, one way or another.

  16. Not exactly a podcast, but I love the Let’s Plays by Geek Remix on youtube!! Lately I’ve been following their Life is Strange LPs and they are super good, but everything they’ve done is pretty great – I also really like their Gone Home LP. It’s really nice to be able to watch a game about not straight girls I can’t play myself played by and discussed by not straight women, yknow?

  17. Current:

    Not Your Mama’s Gamer, from the NYMGamer site. With Samantha Blackmon and Alex Layne and others, this all-female podcast tends to have a more academic perspective, since all the hosts and guests seem to either be teaching, researching, or pursuing advanced degrees. But it’s still accessible to the layfolk, and “what are you drinking” is just as important a question as “what have you been playing”. 117 episodes and counting.

    Gaming With the Moms, from Pixelkin (a family/parent-orientated gaming site) where Nicole Tanner makes a return to games podcasting with mom Linda Breneman and non-mom Simone de Rochefort.

    Rocket, not which isn’t a gaming-specific podcast, but “Tech, comics, movies, games and books”. Simone de Rochefort, Christina Warren, and Brianna Wu (from the Isometric podcast). 49 episodes and going strong.

    Black Girl Nerds, from TWIB! (This Week In Blackness). Not gaming-specific.

    Idle Thumbs is still going, but right now there are no female hosts. I started listening when I heard that Danielle Riendeau was a host, but she recently left… But now she’s just launched a new podcast under the Idle Thumbs banner with Rob Zacny called Idle Weekend.

    Ended:

    IGN Girlfight, which sadly ended in 2011 (it ran for 55 episodes before IGN axed it). All-female podcast (with the exception of occasional male guests). Nicole Tanner, Dana Jongewaard, and others.

    Girlfriend Mode. Only 17 episodes, but I enjoyed it.

    *****

    The recently-launched site remeshed.com (women. gaming. awesome.) has a list of podcasts that have at least one women host, at http://remeshed.com/podcasts/.

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