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Podcast Reflections

Gin Rummy: Reflecting on the Third Podcast Episode

As the lead producer of the third podcast about the card game Gin Rummy, I took on a new leadership role by organizing the script and overall production process of the podcast. I chose this game because it is often misconceived as a boring card game played by the elderly, and I wanted to shed light on this misconception. In writing the script, I aimed to provide a clear explanation of how to play the game while also emphasizing personal anecdotes to play on viewers’ emotions and provide greater entertainment. My group began work on the podcast by researching the game’s rules and history, which we discovered was fairly recent. We divided up the tasks accordingly: As the Producer, I developed the majority of the script, as Assistant Producer, Giovanni compiled the audio and music into a cohesive audio file, and as Line Producer, Will helped edit the script and audio. When producing this episode, we also considered what worked and what did not work from past episodes. For the first episode about Risk, we realized we discussed the technicalities of the game too much and did not focus enough on analysis, building our argument, and making the script entertaining for listeners. For the Chess podcast, we spent less time explaining the rules and focused more on a clear argument that ran throughout the script. And for our final podcast, we added more dialogue, which helped frame the argument and lighten the mood while threading a clear argument throughout the podcast.

The obvious challenge we faced when producing this episode was not being physically together to work on it. However, we optimized the capacity of the internet by using the video chat platform Zoom to discuss our plans for the episode. And instead of recording it all together using a microphone, we each recorded audio files and sent them to Giovanni, who compiled them. Overall, we managed to produce even better podcasts than we made when we were in person despite the lack of in-person interaction. If we had more resources available for our episode, the audio would likely have been clearer by using high-tech microphones, but I do not think this was a major issue. Something else we could have incorporated was interviews with family members about their experiences playing Gin Rummy, but this also would have been difficult since we could not meet in person. 

Producing this podcast helped me meet the composing texts in multiple genres learning objectives by writing for the aural genre rather than an audience who reads my work. I achieved the analysis learning outcome by writing a script that had a clear argument throughout. I wrote as a process by undergoing multiple drafts and really thinking through each word I wrote. I demonstrated visual thinking strategies by arranging my thoughts in a way that made sense to the audience and flowed in a sensical way. Lastly, I employed technology appropriately by making sure everything was appropriate for the wide internet audience and making sure to credit all the sources. 

I learned a lot by producing this podcast. I learned leadership skills by organizing a group effort and outcome we were proud of. I learned to choose music that reflected our overall argument: by using music that did not typically align with the podcast mindset, we argued that the game Gin Rummy is more upbeat than most people think. I also learned how to produce good work in a short time span. I am confident that I can produce a successful podcast or any aural work in the future, and I believe this skill will take me far. 

Categories
Podcast Reflections

Reflecting on “Risky Business”

When creating “Risky Business: A Deep Dive Into The Game of Risk,” my group first met with Professor Morgen to brainstorm potential angles to explore, and then we “deep dove” into those topics. We researched game strategy, the history of the game, different scenarios that a player could encounter, and the game’s real-world applications to the Cold War and beyond. We researched by reading articles, instruction manuals, history accounts, timelines, and discussing our own knowledge of the game. As co-Assistant Producers, Giovanni and I focused more on the research aspect and Will, the Producer, focused on developing our research into a flowing, cohesive, and entertaining script. I organized a space to record and gathered the recording materials, and Giovanni edited the audio after recording. We derived inspiration from podcasts that came before ours by listening to them and extracting some aspects we liked. Some of these tactics included having short conversations with each other throughout various moments of the podcast as well as talking through some specific scenarios during game-play. 

Our primary goals in our podcast were to examine Risk’s history, it’s association with the Cold War, and how the game’s medium and rules provide understanding about Cold War-era thinking. To achieve these goals, we described the premise of game-play and the historical context of when it was created and initially played. We executed this goal by creating an interactive dialogue that kept the reader engaged and interested. We knew it would be easy to slip into the dangerous waters of making a podcast that mimicked a Cold War history lesson. Thus, we worked hard to incorporate comedic breaks and conversations between players. We also carefully chose background music that fit with the game’s theme: serious to an extent but also mysterious and creative. Some areas I wish we had time to further explore are the moral implication of Risk on the modern player. We examined the Cold War-era implications but I feel there were more connections we could have made for how Risk encourages a higher moral standard and strategic way of thinking through daily tasks. 

My work on the podcast episode helped me achieve the learning outcomes for the semester by composing texts in multiple genres using the written and aural modes. I am accustomed to writing just for a reader’s eye, but for the podcast, we had to think about writing for a speaker. This was a more crafty type of writing that required oral experimentation to see how the tone felt and if our words made sense when spoken out loud. I also practiced writing as a process, recursively implementing strategies of research, drafting, revision, editing, and reflection. When creating the podcast, we composed many drafts of our script, re-recorded countless segments, and rethought the structure multiple times after we’d already finished recording. Creating this podcast taught me the importance of fine-tuning and revising to create a successful end product.

Through creating this podcast, I have learned that my strengths include compiling information, organizing a group, and being receptive to others’ ideas. Some areas I could improve upon are mastering the technological aspects, such as editing sound and recording audio. I can apply the skills I used in crafting this podcast episode to future writing projects by carefully revising all of my work and taking input from my peers into consideration. 

Link to audio: https://eng101s20.davidmorgen.org/ready-set-game/risky-business-a-deep-dive-into-the-game-of-risk/