Celebrating 15 Years of Podcasting

Writing online isn’t the only anniversary I’m celebrating this year. I’ve been a podcaster for 15 years now. I’ve had my ups and downs; my burnout and balance, but I have been talking into a mic in one way or another for over half my life now.

My allure to podcasting was born out of hype for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I talked about how I fell in love with Show Me Your News! during the Brawl hype days with Peter Spezia (aka Youko) on MFP back in March to celebrate that game’s 15th anniversary. I was doing a video podcast of sorts with the Smash Cast then, but it only took two months after release for me to launch a show with two co-hosts.

On May 29, 2008, I created a text document with the new show’s first news outline. Here is the doc in it’s full glory:

But Our Princess is in Another Castle

Episode 1

– Welcome

– Podcast

– Brawl vs. Melee

– Mario Kart Wii

– Wii Ware and Simcity

– Wii Fit + Balance Board

– Rock Band Wii

– Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorerís of Time and Darkness

– Guitar Hero DS

– Darkrai Event

– Closing

Our show had the very original name of But Our Princess is in Another Castle (or as we quickly shortened it to BOPIIAC). It was hosted by myself and two pals I met through the power on the internet—Ava Wray and Rocky Ankeny. We had jerry-rigged means to record a Skype call off cheap USB microphones in all that glory. Recording ran exclusively off Rocky’s computer and we blatantly copied Peter’s style on SYMN. We were all around 13 years old.

I don’t have that original episode – I don’t have most of them – but I do have the second and the one Peter guested on! The show ran for 33 episodes based off my folders. It is near impossible to coordinate three teens to be reliable for a podcast. But we did do the thing for a little bit.

After BOPIIAC, I pivoted to making YouTube videos. I did After Effects tutorials, some retro game and hardware reviews, and posted some trailers. It was sporadic fun.

Back in 2013, I got the gang back together for a two episode stint of The Game Boys. That show was born out of a desire to have my own show again, on my blog, with folks I was familiar with. It died quickly due to a lack of commitment from everyone else. It was a passion project for me, not them. And that’s okay! It was a flawed design.

It wouldn’t be until 2015, that I’d begin my longest running show with my (now) longtime co-host Logan Moore. We started Millennial Gaming Speak because we wanted to get better at being “on air.” We did it both for our love of the medium and for our résumés. The show ran for three years with 127 episodes.

In 2017, Logan and I decided to grow out our podcasting reach. Logan had met a couple of guys, Michael Ruiz and Mario Rivera. He thought they’d be cool guys to work with and made the introductions. I don’t think there’s been a day since were we haven’t talked together. 

We decided to launch a small network with four shows. MGS was the heart of the network with its run nearing 100 episodes at the time. We created a catch-all show dubbed the Model Citizens Podcast. A place where all four of us could chat about whatever. A personal favorite of mine was the cereal mascot Hunger Games. Logan and Mike created a music retrospective show dubbed Reeling in the Years. Then I had my own show called Behind the Pixel, which they called “Beneath the Pixel” just to bug me. It worked.

Behind the Pixel was an interview show I hosted. It was the precursor to The Max Frequency Podcast. I had a wonderful slate of guests that I am still quite proud of to this day. I’d love to revisit them someday.

During the network’s yearlong run, I got married, Mike got engaged. I have no clue what Logan or Mario did. The vision for the shows may not have stuck around, but we have. We get together every year still. We even brought MCS back. It’s a privilege and joy to be friends with them all.

But I became burnt out. I hadn’t really dealt with that before. I had been pushing and pushing for this idea to work in the traditional video games media for years. When I knew Abby and I were going to be together for the long haul, I knew I wasn’t going to California to write about games. I needed to tap out and reassess. That led to a domino effect that killed that network; and that’s why they call me a podcast killer.

I stepped back for a couple of years. I guested on some friends’ shows. I launched this very website in 2020. A year later I started two new podcasts—The Max Frequency Podcast and Chapter Select. I’m in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been with the medium. I know where I am and where I want my work to go. There’s nothing ambiguous, no shroud over if I’ll work here or do that. I am in charge of my own platform. I get to make exactly what I want, how I want, and when I want.

My drive to record and edit has never been truly quelled. There have been gaps. There have been failures, flubs, and flops. But my attraction to podcasting hasn’t gone away in these past 15 years. 

There is a magic when making a podcast. I come alive behind the mic. My passion for clean edits, detailed show notes, and production is engrained in the fibers of my being. The rush after recording a killer episode is thrilling. Podcasts bring people together. I’ve made countless friends. I’ve had the privilege to speak with folks I admire. There’s a record of my thoughts, opinions, and feelings. And it all started with a game reference I barely understood and some classic Brawl vs Melee discussion.

If you’ve ever listened to my shows, I hope you have enjoyed them. Thank you for the past 15 years. Here’s to the next 15 and beyond! 🥂

It wouldn’t be an official Max Roberts history without links and citations. I went back and found every episodes I have been a guest on that I could publicly find. Some may or may not be available to listen, but at least the record is here. Enjoy.