I was overcome with joy this week, when I came across an unnoticed recent addition to ‘Shut Up. We’re Talking’ on my Zune HD. My excitement soon turned to despair however, when it was revealed that this new episode, was to be the last.
For those who are not familiar, ‘Shut Up. We’re Talking’ was a gaming podcast co-hosted by Darren and Karen, and was part of the VirginWorlds Podcast Collective. Brought together by the almost-mythical MMO deity named Brent, the collective is a collection of mostly gaming related podcasts hosted by a close-knit band of podcasters. The collective was filled with amazing and diverse shows, from Brent’s very own ‘VirginWorlds MMO News’ (long live robot Brent), to shows like Jonathan’s ‘The Online Gamer’s Anthology’ and Tim and Jon’s ‘Van Hemlock Podcast’.
When I first discovered VirginWorlds and its collective (and indeed podcasts in general), I was on the verge of falling into a depression-fuelled psychosis. Unable to relate and connect with the people around me, and with all my friends having drifted apart or moved away, I found myself retreating more and more into my games. It got to a point where I was practically a hermit, living an isolated life consumed by my gaming. And despite my gaming focus having shifted more and more towards the online, and me being more connected than ever – I have never been more alone in my life.
That is why while most people applauded the high production values of the shows, and the insightful commentaries and interviews that they often contain, I was instead impressed by the amazing camaraderie that the podcasters displayed. It was touching, listening to these random strangers talk passionately about gaming, and about their own personal lives. Hearing their banter, the personal chattering between these close-knit friends. Each show was like a portal, an open invitation into their personal lives. Delusional perhaps, but with each show it was like I was there with them, among friends, and for a brief time I was no longer alone…
While I could not claim that ‘Shut Up. We’re Talking’ had saved my life (or something equally dramatic) like in so many cliché feedbacks, I can however claim that the VirginWorlds Podcast Collective had meant a lot to me, and it fills my heart with great sorrow seeing yet another piece of this amazing community disappearing from the public eye.
Fare thee well Darren and Karen, though you are strangers, you shall be missed dearly.
For those who are interesting in checking out old episodes of ‘Shut Up. We’re Talking’ and the rest of the VirginWorlds Podcast Collective, visit <http://www.virginworlds.com/>. While most of the Collective are no longer active, there are still shows like ‘Through The Aftermath’ and ‘No Prisoners, No Mercy’ on there, as well the as archives. Plus the main site itself still pulls news feeds on a daily basis, so if you are a MMO fan then the site is well worth visiting.
Also visit Darren’s blog at <http://commonsensegamer.com/>, where he attempts to “put some sense in the insane world of gaming”.