I love listening to podcasts almost as much as I love listening to music. Having entertaining, charismatic and funny hosts bounce off one another for 30 minutes to two hours makes me feel, in lack of better words, not lonely. It’s like being at a dinner table or a party without the trouble of socialising and still receiving the joys of human “interaction”, or at least one side of the human interaction. This post is very late as the podcast in question hasn’t updated since October of last year and finally announced it’s termination two months ago. Nevertheless; The Electric Hydra podcast played a big role in my later college years and I’d like to pay my respects.
The Electric Hydra came about during a time of change. Many of Destructoid‘s core team had left including; Brad Nicholson, Topher Cantler and “Golden Age” Host of Podtoid Anthony Burch (now lead writer for Borderlands). It was a shame as I was big fan of the amateur gaming podcast known as Podtoid. Amateur being the key word as it sounded like people talking over skype, recorded then released en masse via iTunes with little to no editing. Yet it was a cut above the rest because the hosts felt like real people. It never felt like they were trying too hard or afraid of censorship, they were just some friends wanting to talk about video games and decided to record it. It translated really well. Topics would be the news at the time and the hosts will chime in with serious views but also ridiculous ones that made for an “educational” but also entertaining listen every week.
The Electric Hydra came from the ashes of Podtoid. The cast remained essentially the same and had the same format but Brad Nicholson took the helm as host instead of Anthony. The Electric Hydra felt more personal as the hosts would often indulge in their personal lives during their ramblings. While this can be a red flag in games podcasting, the personal stories would often turn out to be amusing anecdotes.
I became a devout listener of The Electric Hydra and even stayed up at night to download the latest episode just so I could listen to it in the morning before I went to school. It is difficult for me to talk video games and geeky stuff IRL as I think it’s still not socially acceptable (cool) to say that I preferred “Twilight over Wind Waker because it felt like the true sequel to Ocarina”,without having people stare back with bemusement and a witty taunt of “geek” following swiftly. Listening to Podcasts I could at least hear what other people had to say about the matter and thus have an internal monologue on what I thought in response.
The end of The Electric Hydra was inevitable. I didn’t want to believe it but as the release of each episode drifted away from the regular weekly format, it was hard not to anticipate the final severance of the Hydra’s many heads. I admit the news post took me by surprise but I can understand why it had ended. People’s lives have changed and this was just another project that people had lost interest in. I think it’s fitting that The Electric Hydra didn’t end with a massive bang but more of a slow erosion as it was just a pastime that people didn’t have enough time for anymore.
As a few final words regarding the people of The Electric Hydra; Brad did an amazing job in reuniting the Podtoid crew when we all thought it had ended. He was able to capture the spirit and excitement that Podtoid had, and ran with it for the duration of The Electric Hydra. His guests and co-hosts; Jim Sterling, Topher Cantler, Aaron Linde, Anthony Burch and Joseph Leray were all spectacular in providing not only interesting insights into the video game industry but also their own brand of humour and personality into the podcast. I think all of you have influenced my life in some way through talking about what you love every week and this blog is proof of that fact.