Podcast Review: Headshots, Psychology + Gaming

I love video games, a lot. When I first moved to Portland I didn’t get internet in my place for the longest time because I was prone to do 10+ hour Call of Duty marathons, and knew I needed to stop. However, I went deeper into video games.

I would make regular trips to the local stores to converse with the staff. I’d do my due diligence whenever a new game was a announced or ready to launch, and discuss games, old and new, with anyone who would listen. I thought I went deep, until I listened to this podcast.

THE HOSTS

A lot of podcasts I listen to aren’t hosted by experts per se, but more amateurs who love the topic they’re discussing. But that’s what I love about podcasts, it’s enthusiasts discussing topics they love. Headshots, Psychology + Gaming is one of those rare ones where the hosts combine both profession and hobby.

Kelli Dunlap and Josue Cardona can be called both experts and enthusiasts, and much more. Their resumes read like scholars and video game experts, even Designer. They can not only tell you about the nitty-gritty of games (design, story, graphics), but how games impact your psyche and their larger role in society.

Their major strength in my opinion is their ability to bring different perspectives to each topic. This was epitomized in their recent episode about the Console Wars. Both take measured approaches to their arguments, but keep it civil and reinforce their positions with facts. Something we are missing in debates these days.

THE FORMAT

Episodes can vary depending on the topic. While each one is focused, with a clear topic, sometimes it’s a debate, other times they have an guest, or they discuss a trend or two and what they mean for the future of the industry.

As I mentioned before they go deep, like really deep. While I haven’t listened to every episode, my favorite so far has been when Josue interviewed Asi Burak. I can’t even begin to get into all the topics they discussed, but it was a great analysis of how gaming has impacted society. However, it wasn’t just on the surface, they discussed the application of gaming as a medical option, which was fascinating to say the least.

I would say the most interesting parts for me is when they discuss their research and experiences with certain consoles or games. It’s great to hear how Kelli and Josue consumed, processed, and evaluated the game, and their opinions on it. It makes for a good listen, and left me with more questions about previous games I’ve played.

MY VERDICT

I would say this is a must listen for any video game lovers. While it’s not a straight forward “here’s what’s coming out and our reviews” of the industry, it’s a great listen to learn more about something you’re interested in. You don’t have to be a Psychologist to find this entertaining and informative, that’s for sure.

It also comes out once every two weeks, so this isn’t something that will dominate your free time, or force you to give up any other podcasts. Even if you’re a casual gamer, this will be an interesting listen, and you might learn about some new games, or older games, you have written off.

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