Gamer Entrepreneur: Nerdstravaganza
By: Vaughn Reynolds
Apparently I’m not very aware of my surroundings–shocking, I know! A podcast of epicly awesome proportions eluded my attention for quite some time. Thankfully I am now an avid listener to Nerdstravaganza, which currently consists of Tom, Brian, Kam and Chris. They all live nerdly lives in South Florida and have unique styles that bring totally different angles to the topics discussed on the show.
I was fortunate enough to be able to ask them some questions via email which Tom and Brian took the helm to respond to. Keep in mind, all the following questions and answers are entirely serious.
1. Tom, how did you originally get into podcasting? Clearly you were a nerd before podcasting existed, but what was the impetus for sharing your awesome nerdly life with the general public?
Tom: It was an idea Rik, one of the founding cast members, and I, had been kicking around for some time. Finally, we realized that we could either plan forever or just pull the trigger and go for it. We chose the latter, and here we are. Sometimes you just have to jump into the water and start treading, as cliche as I know that sounds.
“I was not a nerd before podcasting existed.” – Tom
Tom: The impetus, I would say, is having a lot of great conversations and wishing we could include other people. That, and the desire for fame and fortune, of course.
2. Your Weekly Geekly, Geekly Weekly is very fun. As is the informative news portion of your show. How does the team come up with topics? Is it pulled from a hat? Google’s ‘I’m feeling lucky’? Or something more dastardly?
Tom: The Weekly Geekly, Geekly Weekly is probably the easiest portion. How many times have you had an interestingly geeky week and wished you could gush about it to a willing audience? Then again, how many times have you had a boring week? I
Brian: I find it’s usually harder to cut things down for length than it is to not be boring. I think if we really shared everything geeky we did, we’d have 40 links in the show notes and the episode would be
Tom: Regarding topics, “pulled from a hat” makes it sounds a little more simple than it is, but there is some digging around in head gear that goes on, to be sure. Sometimes an idea just comes spilling out of the hat that we all like, and sometimes we’re eight or nine gallons deep before we find the first kernel of an episode idea.
Tom: I’ll defer to the other Ganzoids with reference to the news. They do all the
Brian: I think it was a natural extension of the
3. If you could suggest one episode for someone to listen to, who has never heard your podcast before, which one would it be, and why?
Brian: Episode 149, about artificial intelligence and how we might treat them. It’s with the current cast, which I think is really hitting its stride, and we raise some great questions and points. It’s also one of the longer episodes that I think didn’t feel longer, just a really good flow throughout.
4. If there was one episode you would prefer people avoid, why haven’t you just deleted it off the Internets?
Tom: We stand by our entire catalog!
Brian: I agree with that. I mean, I think we know some sound better than others, and “this” is going to appeal to Listener X more than “that” is, but overall, I think all of them are fun on some level.
5. Your podcast is audio, your comic reviews are write ups, and your game reviews are video. Do you have plans to bring the podcast to video and live in the universe of YouTube?
Tom: When Olivia Munn wraps up this movie stuff that’s distracting her, we’ll take a serious look at adding her to the lineup for a video version of the show. And I’m sure our prior guest, Alison Haislip, is chomping at the bit, so that’s two nerdy, highly-qualified hosts who viewers probably wouldn’t mind looking at. Viewers might mind looking at me.
Brian: Once upon a time we had all these plans for video, like stupid hats, and entire shows in cosplay. I’d really like to make that happen. I think it’d be funny as hell for Batman and Spiderman to interview Brian Dalrymple! It’s just a matter of getting there, and the existing channel was the first step in that process.
And now to the gamer side…
6. If a D&D class (any version) and alignment had to be assigned to each one of the four current cast members, what would they be?
Kam – Magic User / Neutral-Good
Brian – Magic User / Chaotic-Good
Chris – Magic user / Chaotic-Good
Brian: I think Kam would be more lawful than that, maybe lawful-neutral. But he is pretty studious, I can see mage fitting him. Chris would totally be a mage, though. Chaotic? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him disrespect the law. I’d give him lawful-good. Tom, you’re a hard call. You’re smart enough to pull off mage, but I remember high school and how serious you were about the gym. I think you’d be our lawful-evil warrior. And here’s something not too many people would guess about me – I’m terribly stealthy for a six-foot-three mass of tacos and soda. People are constantly not aware I’m around and just walking right into me. I’d be a chaotic-good thief. Hey, if we can convince either Kam or Chris to convert to the clergy, we’d be pretty well-rounded!
7. I’ve heard you have a ‘Ganza-mancer’ game in the works, how is that coming? What style game is it? Do you plan on crowdfunding it?
Tom: TOP SECRET! I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of, but do claim on behalf of the podcast, exclusive rights to, “Ganza-mancer”, and any similar titles, products, human or non-human persons, or animals, be they living or dead, or undead.
“Sorry, I’m under NDA, and I make it a point never to do anything someone with a –mancer suffix wouldn’t approve of.” – Brian
8. And finally, I know having Alison Haislip was pretty awesome, especially because she hinted at a new show she was going to be on, which turned out to be Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana, the new RPG show from Geek & Sundry! But do you have any other big names you can maybe give us, or hint at to tease us so that we lose sleep until the episode comes out?
Tom: Carrie Fisher will soon star in a new Numenera video show. Neil Gaiman is going to host a geek trivia program. We, the Ganzoids, will soon re-launch “Red Dwarf”, starring us. I get to play Cat!
Brian: I think we really are going to pull off having Chuck Wendig reappear. That’s pretty exciting, especially considering the timing. Episode VII-mania will be in full swing by then, and he should be able to talk about what he knows, since the book will be out by then.
That interview was a ton of fun, and hopefully the Nerdstravaganza team will have the time and patience to grace me with a follow-up! Their responses were great and make me want to inquire further, and that’s part of what makes their podcast so much fun to listen to! Make sure to check it out and comment below what you think!