The GILM Awards 2017 Favorite Podcast


Favorite Podcast

What voices did you have in your earbuds while you did chores, took walks, exercised or played games this year? And why weren’t you listening to the music and sound design of that game? Probably because you were listening to your favorite podcast!

There are some restrictions for this category in particular. Podcasts by nature are long-running, and they only get more popular as they go, so it’s easy to have the same old names every year. We are limiting this category to podcasts that have been running for 2 years or less! It must have started in 2016 or 2017 to be valid. We don’t want your old standby, we want to hear about the podcast you cherish in 2017, the new thing in your queue that you made room for, the fresh podcast that turned out the best episodes in 2017. Consider everything you listened to before nominating a podcast that fits within this time window just because it has your favorite personalities on it. We’re trying to celebrate and boost fresh voices working on new, recent shows.

All right, your mics are hot and we’re recording. Do we need to do the clap, or do you do a countdown thing? One more thing before we start, remember to bold your nomination so we know you mean it!


Q: Uhhh, sorry to ask, but... what are the GILM Awards?

A: Nothing to apologise for! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the awards here.

Q: How do I nominate something?

A: To nominate something, you have to write it in your post and bold it, ideally at the top of your post. If we don’t know what you’re picking, we can’t count it. You get one (1) nomination. For a game to be eligible for the voting phase, it must have two nominations.

Nomination: X)
(Rest of Post, full of lists and good takes)

You can make a list as long as your arm, just be clear. We welcome thoughtful posts about how you made your decision and discussion, as long as we keep it positive and respectful.

Q: I disagree with someone else's choice!

A: As per our Code of Conduct, be considerate about other people’s perspectives. There’s no need to puff out someone else’s candle to make yours a little brighter. Negativity is only going to hurt your case for what you love. What’s said in the thread stays in the thread. The mod team frown deeply on people taking disagreements thread-to-thread, like bringing up a user’s nomination in a previous category in a case against the present one.

Q: Someone already nominated what I wanted to, what do I do?

A: We still want to hear your thoughts! Be mindful of what has already been nominated, but as always, this topic is a conversation, so feel free to share your thoughts on what has been nominated.

Q: When does the nomination process end?

A: The period of time to make your nominations will end 12/10/2017.


Voting for The Polygon Show. I listen to a good few gaming podcasts, but this is the one that I look forward to most every week for pure chemistry and entertainment, as well as genuine insight.


Voting for Fave This!

This is Kotaku’s newest podcast about games (and internet culture/fandom) run by Patricia Hernandez and Gita Jackson, two writers for the site. The show is irreverent, full of touchstones that I myself enjoy and it feels like a warm hangout with gal pals who also are into the same nerdy shit you are into. It is a much needed breath of fresh air that speaks directly to me as a 30-something woman in games, but more into the attendant culture around games and fandom.

Disclosure: I was on an episode of this show. I hope my endorsement still stands as high, unbiased praise, given my experience in the podcast realm.


Putting my nomination in for The Magnus Archives. There are other shows that I’m sure will end up listed here, but I’m not sure about this one and wanted to bring it some attention.

It’s a horror podcast hosted by an “Archivist” going through several statements made by people who had experienced something paranormal. It focuses on the creepy more than the brutally scary, building dread with subtle sound design, great storytelling and voice acting. All the stories end with you not quite knowing what was real and what wasn’t. The narrator Jonathan Sims is incredibly skilled at modulating his voice to be one that believably belongs to the people making the statements, then snapping back to his own character to review their claims.

I first started this podcast during Halloween on walks at night to creep myself out, and I was like “This is okay”. I’ve listened to 60 episodes in just two months and I think it’s time to admit that I love it.

EDIT: Also, I don’t remember who this was, but someone on the forums recommended it, so thanks!


I’m nominating Important if True
It’s such a pleasure to listen to three guys with great rapport with each other just have conversations about whatever they can think up. The show also has a tendency of a joke snowballing into a running joke that gets referred to in several podcasts until it is finally put to rest. While I dislike running jokes in perpetuity, Important if True knows how to stop beating the horse before it is dead.


Nomination: Tomorrow Never Knows.

This is a really hard one for me, and I was split basically between this and Andrew Groen’s Empires of EVE: The History Lectures. Both of them jump to the top of my listening queue (even ahead of Waypoint Radio, I must say) and they both came out in the last few months. They’re shaky starts, but Groen found their feet faster.

With that said, it has to be Tomorrow Never Knows, which is hosted by Charlotte Lydia Riley and Emma Lundin, two historians working in the UK. The podcast’s focus is on them talking about various topics through the lens of their lived experienced and their historical research. It’s only been running since October with four episodes out, focusing on women’s bodies and women in the workplace, but these few episodes are so promising. The depth of historical knowledge brought to bear when talking about, for instance, the fashion of women politicians in the UK really does make it a pleasure to listen to.

I can’t help but nominate it. I just really love it.


Important If True

I am extremely torn about spending my nomination on something other than Waypoint Radio, but I trust that a fellow forumer will pick up the slack. On the topic of Waypoint Radio, it is consistently excellent and goes in depth on underdiscussed topics with an earnest but critical perspective. Also, I really like Austin’s voice; it has a nice big brother feel to it (“onii-san”, if you will).

That being said, I need to point out that Important If True is killing it and will shout it from the rooftops. 2017 is the year I thought would never come, namely the year that I found my interest in gaming as a hobby to be less than the year before. I still listen to Bombcast, Beastcast, and Waypoint Radio every week, but mostly as comfort listening to people I’ve heard speak in my ears for so long. Gaming stories are still endlessly fascinating for me to hear, as well as gaming marginalia, but my act of playing itself has drastically decreased between work and other interests.

Thus, when Idle Thumbs went monthly in favor of Important If True, I wasn’t sad, only relieved that I’d still be able to hear Chris, Nick, and Jake muse about life, the universe, and everything. And boy howdy do they muse! Think of Important If True as just the freeform comedy conversation bits of Idle Thumbs and neurotic Nick-Breckon-As-Larry-David stories all strung together (i.e. your favorite bits). It’s shocking how perfect this podcast is to me (to me to me to me to me) and my sense of humor. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve found not a few endorsements to be extremely useful to my daily life. #FreeSeanVanaman

P.S. Also Duncan Fyfe and Alex Ashby’s limited run of Something True is worth its weight in gold. Eight episodes of weirdo history, brilliantly told.


Nomination: Let’s Watch 2 Movies

Yet another movie watching podcast amongst the many out there, but I love the chemistry between the two hosts and the “voice” of the podcast is much different than the other podcasts of this type. I like the contrasting of two movies as a concept as well, since it does help place it in an interesting context.


Sorry for the incredibly Me answer, but I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats is one of the most fascinating podcasts I’ve ever heard. Deep dives with artists are always wonderful, but the intimacy and production value in IOTTMG has made it really something special.


Nomination: Racist Sandwich

Racist Sandwich is a food podcast that discusses the intersection of food, race, and gender, and focuses on marginalized voices in the food industry. While the podcast focuses on the food scene in Portland, Oregon, the topics discussed are broader reaching.

If you only listen to one episode, listen to The Pushback Against White Supremacy in Portland. The episode is a series of interviews at a white supremacy rally and is harrowing and hopeful.


I will also nominate Fave This.

I only started listening to the show recently but I have already fallen in love with the format. Gita Jackson and Patricia Hernandez are fantastic, endearing hosts with loads of interesting insights and ideas. I’ve enjoyed reading their writing on Kotaku for a while now and I’m so happy to hear them both on a podcast.

It’s also simply nice to listen to a podcast that covers pop/internet culture that isn’t hosted by a bunch of white dudes. If anything, listening to Fave This has made me want to seek out other podcasts with more diverse hosts than my current line-up. (though shoutouts to Important if True for being my 2nd fav podcast of the year)


Nom: The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson

All seven of the episodes came out fairly recently. It follows the consequences the porn industry face as a result of the monolithic Pornhub. The podcast goes in really interesting places, examining the positive and negative effects with a heavy focus on industry. It’s very eye opening and a great binge listen though perhaps not the best thing to listen to out loud.


I’m going to also nominate The Magnus Archives. As someone who listens to lots of horror podcasts, but has found several to be inconsistent (e.g The Black Tapes), The Magnus Archives blew me away by starting strong, improving episode by episode, and then nailing its introduction of a metanarrative. It covers all sorts of classic fears but manages to make each story novel, engaging, and actually scary! It also manages to avoid the mean spiritedness of some horror fiction, focussing on psychological horror the protagonist of each tale experiences rather than gleefully dwelling on their pain and suffering. If you like horror, I can’t recommend it enough.

Second and third on my personal podcasts of the year (in case anyone’s scouring this thread for recs) would be You’re Too Show! and Fave This! YTS, a Sonic Fancast, is incredibly upbeat and fun in a way that’s charming rather than forced, and has interesting things to say about the weird world of Sonic. A good taster episode would be the episode with merrit k on Shadow the Hedgehog, or the mega 3-parter with Zolani Stewart on Sonic 06.


My favorite new podcast this year is Logged Off.

LoggedOff is a podcast hosted by Danika Harrod and Samantha Carter. It’s about… being online and all of the hilarious and bad stuff that the internet can contain. It’s consistently funny and sometimes, when it gets a little heavy, somber, but it’s been an important addition to my podcast queue this year for a number of reasons.


oh this is gonna be difficult…I’ll say Off Book

It’s a weekly pod where the hosts improvise a comedic musical with a real pianist and a comedian guest. It doesn’t always come out great, but when it does it’s hilarious.


Nomination: True Crime Japan

If you like your true crime stories told in a dispassionate way, this is your podcast. The two hosts, Gigi and Dino, are fluent in English and Japanese. (English is not Gigi’s native language, so she speaks with a slight accent and occasionally has to ask Dino for a word.) TCJ has the great advantage over other true-crime shows that most of the famous Japanese crimes it covers are little-known or unknown in the English-speaking world. Instead of hearing about Charlie Manson for the Nth time, you can hear about the Akagi Shrine Disappearance, or the BOAC Stewardess Murder.

The hosts speak in a matter-of-fact style, telling the story of the crime from an expatriate’s perspective. This means that when a crime turns on, say, the Japanese laws on parental rights, they are capable of recognizing which features would be unusual to a Western listener, and to explain them in a Japanese context. They can also tell you the Japanese onomatopoetic for dismemberment murders. The explanations both of the crimes and of Japanese culture are always respectful, although the hosts don’t hesitate to criticize customs that they think hinder crime-solving.

There are two catches you should be aware of. First, the show doesn’t update very often. Second, many of the cases they discuss are unsolved. If you’re frustrated by murders whose killers are unknown, you should choose episodes cautiously.


S-Town was an absolute can’t miss story from earlier this year. It’s from the producers of This American Life and Serial, and it’s initial premise very much sounds like another true crime mystery in real time…at first.

An antique clock restorer in the town of Woodstock, Alabama, which he endlessly calls Shit-town, claims a local man has gotten away with murder. Everyone in town knows it too. The suspect has been bragging about it openly, he says. The police are corrupt and are refusing to investigate.

That’s how the story starts, but from there it goes down a path you’d never expect. Turns out that the murder never took place, but someone does die.

If you haven’t already listened to S-Town, take the time and check it out over the holiday break, it’s a great story worth going into with as few details as possible!


Unfortunately, TAZ isn’t eligible as it started in 2014.


Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People

Comedian, actor, and public access television personality Chris Gethard receives anonymous phone calls which he solicits from Twitter. Chris doesn’t control the line and he doesn’t know anything about the person who calls. Following Chris’s largely arbitrary rules, they have an hour-long conversation.
The rules:

  • No names
  • No incriminating details
  • This is not free therapy
  • If you cuss you have to apologize to Chris’s mother Sally who listens to the show

Every call is a fascinating look into a person’s life and since they’re anonymous they can really open up about their situations. Sometimes the calls are are innocuous as motivating a guy to try improv comedy in college and sometimes they’re extremely heavy like a mother who called from the waiting room at a children’s hospital. The calls are always fascinating, always charming. Chris Gethard has been a great voice in the national discourse on mental health, suffering from anxiety and depression himself. Even if it doesn’t get nominated, check out Beautiful Anonymous. It’s one of my favorite podcasts and you can honestly just start from episode 1 (titled Ron Paul’s Baby) as it is a classic.


Uhhh… I don’t wanna make this complicated but

Waypoint Radio.

Cool people who talk good. Endlessly funny, insightful, relevant and thought-provoking. Also on the correct side of the great Swift-Jepsen battle.