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The Backstory to Jianghu Hustle

I have really cut back on my RPG podcasts. I listen to very few these days, spending time instead with history, national security, and current events podcasts. There are two to which I listened recently that I think deserve attention: Backstory and Jianghu Hustle.

Backstory is hosted by Alex Roberts and she interviews various industry figures, generally game designers but also community organizers, game facilitators, and others. As I mentioned on G+ while sending kudos “Alex Roberts is always an engaging host, keeping the conversation moving and interesting without ever dominating, . . .” Interviewing is a real skill, and Alex executes with effortless grace. Her guests are intellectual and artistic – and while there is a segment of the population which uses those terms as dogwhistles for elite snobbery, I’m not part of that segment and am honestly impressed with the depth of thought that commonly surfaces in these interviews. I’d like to particularly point out episode 50 with designer, pro GM, and organizer Daniel Kwan. Give it a listen and if you like it, you’ll probably dig the show as a whole.

I’m also very smitten by Jianghu Hustle, hosted by Eli Kurtz and Eric Farmer and a part of the Misdirect Mark Podcast community. Jianghu Hustle plays the double role of wuxia movie consideration and game design spotlight. The hosts talk about various wuxia movies and then take what they learn of the genre to discuss how it could be embodied in RPG concepts. Being a fan of both wuxia and games, this hits me where I live. Eli and Eric are investigating the genre with both consideration and tact, and are great at deconstructing these iconic films to find both their beating hearts and what parts of them can inform their design.

You can find Backstory here.

You can find episode 50 with Daniel Kwan here.

You can find Jianghu Hustle here.