Episode 16 of GameOn is set to air on Thursday, July 19th. With the 16th episode of the show here already, that means GameOn has reached four months of broadcasting.

FOUR MONTHS. I can’t believe GameOn has been going strong for that long now. I can remember when I first sat down to start planning this program, unaware of the road I was about to embark upon.

The Planning Stages

If you think there were grandiose meetings leading up to the start of GameOn, think again. Back then, GameNTrain’s sole owner Eric Hoff told me about the idea of running GameNTrain’s podcast. I told him I would pen out a couple of ideas and get back to him with a possible sound for the show.

So I sat down at my computer desk and started doing my research… ‘What would a podcast representing GameNTrain sound like?’

Gaming and Fitness combined was clearly the only way to go. GameNTrain is the only website of its kind focusing on this crossing of niches, providing all men and women with something interesting for anyone. We needed to channel that into a podcast, or it would stick out like a sore thumb. 

Gaming and fitness combined had become the focus of GameOn.

Fitness + Gaming = Winning!

Standing Out

I’ve heard my share of podcasts and aside from a few good examples, I haven’t been too impressed by what I had found. Often, you have two random guys talking to each other other Skype through cheap head-set microphones about the random topic of the day. Often, this conversation would last over an hour; going back to points already covered earlier in the podcast and often times filled with long pauses of dead-air.

As a radio broadcaster for seven years, I wanted to show them how it was done.

Howard Stern broadcast

Ok, not like this… not exactly…

With radio, there are a few clear rules that I wanted to follow…

You need to follow format.
You need to stick to the point.
Dead air is not your friend.

Formatting is the guideline that all shows should follow. It provides a beginning and  an end to all features and allows you to stay on track towards your goal.

Sticking to the point means you can’t go off on every random tangent that comes to your mind. Have an idea of what you want to talk about and follow it through.

And above all else, if we want to be treated as professionals, then we have to act as professionals and put the best quality product to air. That means no dead air and no smutty content.

Definitely not like this then!

Inspiration

I kept thinking back to television shows like Electric Playground. I always grew up watching it as a teenager and loving every time it came on the TV. There was so much to like about the show. Tommy Tallerico and Victor Lucas  talked about anything and everything, but above all, it was in easy to manage segments and it kept me ENTERTAINED. That’s the whole point of a series like this; to be entertaining.

Perfecting the wheel… EP is a trailblazer.

This style of show is done to complete success in all manners of places. The Ellen Show follows a simple outline and doesn’t dwell on the same topic throughout the entire broadcast. Entertainment Tonight is set-up like a news broadcast, only focusing entirely on celebrities behaving badly.

Even the Red Green Show in its hay day was treated as a variety show, switiching from segment to segment so that a joke never got too old. The beauty of Red Green was that you always knew what you were going to get when a certain character showed up alongside Red. You had an idea of what to expect and couldn’t wait to see certain characters again.

GameOn + Duct Tape = Awesome!

So I thought, ‘Why can’t we do something like that?’

The News Magazine Show

It was a simple enough plan. We weren’t trying to  spend an hour talking about the same thing, because good luck getting together a team of people every week to do something like that. Besides, how could you cover all things gaming and fitness with only one topic each episode?

We would run a News Magazine show; a tightly produced broadcast featuring multiple contributors talking about multiple topics. Each person would record their part for GameOn and then I would put it all together into one show afterwards.

The beauty of this plan is that it allows everyone to talk about their topic on their own free time. There was no need to sync up everyone’s schedules, which is a problem that many avid podcasting teams would run into.

Its a great plan and it would get an entire team of contributors involved in their own way, but there was one problem.

Newsteam, ASSEMBLE!

When we started GameOn, there wasn’t that many of us involved. At the start, there was only a handful of GameNTrain contributors who had the needed technology to record their own audio and take part. That would work for one or two episodes, but eventually new blood would be needed.

So I gathered up some old broadcasting friends of mine and turned to broadcasting schools across Canada, asking them for interested volunteers.

The schools answered and our team started growing. Some of the people who came aboard were gamers like Kyle Fairney and Tom Ross. Others were fitness buffs like Johnny Mazza. Regardless. we came across a wide variety of viewpoints and putting this all together, GameOn was ready to begin.

GameOn Today!

When we first started, GameOn had a handful of contributors and limited credability. We were the new kid on the block, so people were unsure what to expect from a podcast like this.

Now, we’ve definitely grown in leaps and bounds. GameOn has over 20 contributors now, a number that is always increasing (check out the e-mail below if you want to join up!)

We’ve also gained considerable media attention, attracting all kinds of interview guests and invitations to attend events.

From fitness buffs like Karma Schopp and Kasia Sitarz to voice actors like Liam O’Brien and Tara Platt (listen for her in Episode 16 of GameOn!). We’ve also attracted world class athletes like former NHLer Scott Niedermayer, UFC fighter Mark “The Machine” Hominick, even Olympic hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, considered by many to be the best female hockey player in the world!

We’ve also received invites to attend a number of events, like the grand opening of the Aerial Playground at Fernie Alpine Resort or the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.

Every day, I am amazed at the new interview guests we are able to secure for GameOn. Even Tommy Tallerico, the former host of Electric Playground, is making an appearance on GameOn to talk about the upcoming Canadian tour of the Video Games Live orchestra.

Video Games Live!

Coming soon… Listen for Episode 17!

If that doesn’t show GameOn’s progress, nothing does!

The Fanbase

So with 16 episodes down and many more to come, our show still has so much more to accomplish and so much larger to grow.

I’d like to take this time to thank all of our contributors for taking part and to thank everyone for listening. GameOn, and GameNTrain, are nothing without fans. Without you, there wouldn’t be much point for a show, as there would be no audience!

With that in mind, we want to know… What do you think of GameOn? What would you like to see improve? What changes would you like to see made?

Our goal is to bring you the best show we possibly can, so if there’s something you think you can add to the show, why not join us?

To send your comments or to become part of the show. send an e-mail to gameon@gamentrain.com or just leave your comments below.  We want to hear from you!

That’s about it, be sure to check out Episode 16 of GameOn on Thursday. We are joined by a number of amazing women, including Fitness model Laurie Dickson, Voice actor Tara Platt, Fitness expert and doctor, Dr. Sara Solomon and a hardcore gamer and hottie to boot, Playboy’s Gamer Next Door Jo Garcia!

You don’t want to miss this!

Here’s looking forward to another four months!

the author

Jeff Johnson is a Canadian journalist and the host of GameOn here at GameNTrain. He was born in Ontario, but moved to British Columbia to learn what it's like to be attacked by deer on a regular basis. If you've got an idea for a feature story on GameOn or would like to be featured as a contibutor, simply e-mail gameongamentrain@gmail.com. You can also find Jeff on Google+ at http://www.gplus.to/jeffjohnsongnt