A week or so ago, one of my favorite podcasts came to an end. They’d mentioned it jokingly a time or two, then it was never talked about again. Then, just as episode 200 loomed into view, talk resumed on ending the show on the grand 200th episode. And so, The 40Cast came to an end with it’s release into the wild on July 5th, 2014. Vic, Matt, Denny, Eric and Keith shared one last round of memories on how they came to the show, what they remembered and appreciated most, and then bid us, the listeners, a fond farewell.
I won’t lie. Aside from my family, a few friends and co-workers, I don’t have time for much socializing. We get together with family and go out to eat, or we’ll see a movie with friends or celebrate a birthday or holiday. But mainly, I’m at home with my wife and sons or at work earning a dollar. So, to me, these podcasters that open up to us weekly/bi-weekly, and share their moments with us – with me – are just as much a part of my everyday life as anyone or anything else. I look forward to hearing them in my headphones each week, listening to their takes on movies, shows or games. Sharing a laugh at something funny that they experienced or read about. They’re my digital friends, as sad as some people might find that. And to elevate it one more step higher, they’re the modern day celebrities of our digital culture.
Maybe that’s putting it a little too deep, but they go out there, put themselves on the air for our entertainment and/or education. People, like myself, come to trust their opinions, accept their views and socialize with them thanks to sites like Twitter or Facebook or blogging sites. It may not be skin-on-skin, face-to-face contact, but it’s the digital 21st century equivalent of rubbing elbows with famous folks. Folks that hundred, if not thousands, of people listen to. To elevate them to that level is … well … it may be our own faults, and our own undoings.
We, as listeners, may forget that these guys and gals are just regular folks like ourselves. They’re doing something they love, something they enjoy, and it’s a hobby for most. The majority aren’t getting paid for recording these shows, unless they’re trying to make a career out of it like the folks over at Major Spoilers, who last year turned their company into an LLC. Or Scott Johnson and his My Extra Life / Frogpants Network of shows and talent. The other guys, The 40Cast’s, the Everyday Gamers, Gamer Husbands, etc – they’re us. They’re doing this to have fun and share their love of the medium. They may not even consider the fact that folks will truly be upset when they decide to end a show or move on to other things. All they can think about – as they have every right to – is what’s best for them and what their lives require at that given moment.
Me? I’d love to podcast one day. Not the little 30 minute shorts I put out on rare occasions when I have the time, but an actual show with co-hosts, guests, actual topics of conversation and broadcast on multiple platforms/sites for distribution. Not to make money or become famous, but because I’d love to give back to the community. I’d love to interact on a broader level with folks who would be willing to tune in weekly and hear my thoughts and be willing to share theirs with me. We’re a unique generation. We’re the pioneers of this medium. It’s on the shoulders of those out there right now to pave the way for the future generations of podcasters or vlogs, or blogs, or whatever. We were there at ground zero and have set standards and goals for others to learn, reach for and surpass.
Podcasts are my form of release, a way to relax and catch up with old friends that I may never meet. But they’re also our way of preserving the moments we live in for those further down the line to listen to and look back on. We’re pioneers, we’re celebrities, we’re all a close-knit community of strangers who are also good friends. We’re are listeners and podcasters. But most of all, we’re all people just trying to get by and make ends meet and live life as best we can.
To the fellows of The 40Cast, I bid you a good night. Thanks for 200 awesome episodes and I wish you all the best. And as for the efforts of Eric, Matt and Keith on putting together another podcast, I have nothing but faith in you, fellows. I’ll be watching for it and ready to join in and listen once again. But for now, take a break, guys. You all deserve it!