Nextlander is a media project started in 2021 spring by former Giant Bomb members. When the mother company had structural changes the three game journalists Vinny Caravella, Brad Shoemaker, and Alex Navarro decided to part ways, and leave lengthy history at Giant Bomb going back to the 2000’s GameSpot shenanigans. The experience and insight are there, but do the old friends have what it takes to stay afloat in the highly competitive market of crowdfunded game media?
For a collective that has a long history and insight into the game industry the team of Nextlander keeps the conversations light and easy to follow. Games and the experiences they offer are described clearly as well as the criticisms. This nice mix of casual conversation and sharp critique creates a combination that gives the listener a good picture of what the media product is about, and if it is worth looking at. The weekly news section focuses on the game industry and gives the listener a good overview of what is happening in the field with a sprinkle of sarcasm and dad jokes here and there.
The main course of the podcast is the back-and-forth banter that comes from people who have a long history together. The tone of the chatter is always friendly, with some snarky comments dribbled in for some spice. As the members share the events of their private lives, -from clogged toilets to collecting wrestling masks- the relation to the listener becomes warm and humorous, taking the audience into the conversation of old buddies with a shared passion. This balances the conversation about the game industry perfectly, and the podcast never feels heavy on the information or opinions. As a long-time listener, I don’t necessarily picture the conversational style as something that has parasocial vibes, as the presentation and content stays in -similarly to really good radio hosts- the hands of professional media workers.
The long history might scare some people from checking out Nextlander, but I would say it is more than worth a try. The content balances with casual and inside jokes beautifully, and never feels like you’re listening to an insider show with cryptic meanings and weird gags. Usually, everything is clearly explained, and the hosts actively consider all the new listeners. If the tone of Nextlander seems pleasant I would give it a listen or two. Like a good Netflix show, some podcasts need a few episodes to get the listener up to speed. Also, it is worth mentioning that the audio quality is great, episodes are around 2h long, and all of them have embedded timestamps for topics, which is a welcome feature in podcasts!
Part of Nextlander is free, like the twitch streams and weekly podcasts. For those who want to throw in a little extra -to get something extra- the project offers three different membership levels arranging from 4,5€+vat to 22€+vat monthly payments. Memberships that offer extra content are on the pricey side, as they start from a monthly fee of 9€+vat.
Who: Vinny Caravella, Brad Shoemaker and Alex Navarro
What: Mixed media project focusing on the field of the game industry
Where: https://www.patreon.com/nextlander https://www.twitch.tv/nextlander https://podtail.com/fi/podcast/the-nextlander-podcast/
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