MMO Family: Podcasts for gaming kids

Lisa Poisso
L. Poisso|06.29.10

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MMO Family: Podcasts for gaming kids
MMO Family is your resource for leveling a gaming-specced family. From tips on balancing gaming with family life to finding age-appropriate niches for every family member, MMO Family offers you advice on MMO gaming of the family, by the family and for the family.

Here's an offbeat idea for the kids on one of those endless hot summer days: Track down -- or better yet, try your hand at creating -- a podcast for their favorite MMO. Kids love to hear what other kids are playing, yet there aren't many kid-friendly gaming podcasts out there. "The thing about podcasts for kid's MMOs is that most kids don't really know much about what a podcast is," says Leesha Darkheart of Ravenwood Radio, a podcast about Wizard101.

Do we smell a hero's title for the mom or dad who comes up with an idea for creating some of the coolest summer fun on the block? We just might -- plus a seal of approval for discovering yet another way to enjoy gaming as a family.
Podcasts for kids and families appears to be a vast untapped market. Webkinz Webcast, a now-retired podcast created by two Minnesota girls and their dad, cracked iTunes' Kids and Family category top 10 back in the day and attracted listeners from as far as China, Korea, Greece, Japan, Spain and Brazil. Today, the Webkinz Webcast has evolved into Kid Friday, a "techie kid" podcast that touches on kid-friendly websites, games and apps plus gadgets, iPods, computers and anything else that matters to tech-savvy kids.

Kids' continually evolving interests seem to be the monkey wrench in most game-specific podcasts. Sure, you can Google up several podcasts for mega-hit MMOs like Free Realms -- but the shows are all defunct now, their creators having grown up and moved on to other games and other interests.

Cornering the market currently in the kids' gaming area are two podcasts for Wizard101, Ravenwood Radio and SpiralCast. Ravenwood Radio, in particular, seems especially welcoming to kids who are listening in along with their parents. Both podcasts are energetic, family-friendly -- and most important, active and regular.

We couldn't find any active podcasts for Free Realms, Pixie Hollow, Toontown Online or Ether Saga Online (creator Perfect World has a regular podcast, but it's neither game-specific nor aimed at kids and families). Google easily uncovers podcasts a-plenty for games frequented by teens, such as World of Warcraft and Runescape. Many of these drift into more mature humor and subject matter, so screen these before suggesting them to your own teens.

Anybody for creating a kids' gaming podcast? It's a door that's wide open to energetic, creative kids and families with free summer hours to burn. Google and YouTube are your friends. Your family will find easy-to-follow resources to help you get started chatting about the games you love most.

Let's throw out the Massively nets and see if readers can't help us catch a few more podcasts for gaming families. Can you recommend any family-friendly gaming podcasts? Let us know in the comments.

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