Richard Moss is creating a documentary-style podcast about video game history and culture
11

patrons

$67
per month
Welcome to The Life and Times of Video Games, a new documentary podcast about the history and culture of video games. My name is Richard Moss.

Who?

I'm a writer, journalist, and historian, with seven years of experience covering video games and technology. You may have read one of the many hundreds of freelance articles I've written — perhaps something on Ars Technica, where I write big features on things like The Fall of Core Design (the original Tomb Raider creators) and have a long-running game genre history series (here's my favourite entry, on city-building games); or maybe on Polygon or Rock Paper Shotgun or Gamasutra or any of two dozen other publications. A lot of my past work is on my portfolio.

I have a book on the Secret History of Mac Gaming coming out in March. I also produce a podcast about play, and I love music, dance, film, and learning new stuff. My cat is named Max.

What is this thing?

The Life & Times of Video Games is an audio documentary series about video games and the video game industry, as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are now.
That means that each episode is scripted, edited, and deeply-researched, with interviews and archival audio used whenever appropriate (and possible).

Why audio? Why not make videos instead?

My skills are way better suited to audio production than video, but I also believe that the experience of just listening can be more powerful — more evocative of a sense of place or being — than having lots of pretty pictures to distract your imagination. Audio is also a growing storytelling medium now, thanks to the popularity of podcasts and audiobooks, and there's nobody else doing this kind of show out there.

I'm new to Patreon, how does this work?

Most of the documentaries I produce will find their way into a podcast feed, available for everyone on iTunes and through other podcast platforms with one or two ads per episode. If you'd like to support me, however, you'll get access to patron-only stuff like a special interruption/ad-free podcast feed and — depending on your level of contribution — extra content like extended interviews and research findings.

The best thing is that by supporting me here you can have a real impact on how The Life & Times of Video Games evolves over time. I'll be paying close attention to comments and ideas from my patrons, and will conduct polls and group chats from time to time to make sure we're all happy about the show's trajectory.

When can I expect new episodes?

Episodes will come out fortnightly(ish), in seasons. Episode 1 is about the race to the bottom in the early iOS App Store, where developers found themselves locked in a price war that none of them wanted. Episode 2 is about one of the first flight simulator games, Airfight, which is from the 1970s. More recently, Episode 6 looked at the history of a 1990s ROM hacking and translation group, while Episodes 7 and 8 delved deeply into the underappreciated significance of the grid-based level editor to the success and enormous cultural impact of the early Tomb Raider games.

Season 1 has 13 episodes, most of which are between 15 and 35 minutes long. After that I'll take a break, and if we've reached the Season 2 goal I'll return with 13 more episodes. If we don't hit the Season 2 funding goal, I'll ask patrons to vote on a future direction for the series that's less time-consuming for me.

Occasionally I'll release one-off audio stories — both shorter ones, about specific events or milestones in games history or fun/interesting soundbites (like this story about Bill Gates) from interviews I've conducted, and longer ones that dive deeply into a meaty and complex subject. But the core show is 15-35 minute documentaries.

Can you actually pull this off?

I have a master's degree in journalism. I've written dozens of multi-sourced long-form feature articles about games history and culture, some of which have won or been nominated for awards. This kind of research and interview-heavy storytelling is totally my thing, and I'd much rather do it than continue to freelance full time (which requires doing other less interesting kinds of work to pay the bills).

I've also been a musician most of my life, and I've spent the past two years learning audio engineering and production in my spare time. Listen to any of my newer audio work and compare it to my early stuff — I'd like to think my talent speaks for itself, and I'm only going to get better.

I'm committed to making this show work long-term, but in the end it'll come down to you. Will you join me on this journey?
Tiers
Fan
$1 or more per month 2 patrons
  • Sleep well knowing that you're helping to make the show sustainable
Subscriber
$3 or more per month 5 patrons
  • Access to the patron-only feed where I'll be posting interruption-free, ad-free episodes, extended interviews, and other bonus content
  • Transcripts of every episode
Backstage Pass
$6 or more per month 1 patron
  • Get to be a part of everything that goes on behind the scenes — regular updates, research notes, and annotated screenshots showing how The Life & Times of Video Games gets made
  • First look at or listen to new projects such as feature-length specials and other ideas that break with the normal show structure
  • Plus all previous rewards
Producer
$10 or more per month 2 patrons
  • Your name in the credits/show notes (published with the episode on lifeandtimes.games)
  • Vote on future episode topics and the long-term direction of the show
  • Plus all previous rewards
Executive Producer
$30 or more per month 1 patron
  • Be my boss on one episode per year — you get to choose a topic you care about and work with me to iron out an angle of approach, and then (if you want) to give me feedback at every stage of production (note that I reserve the right to veto your topic choice for any reason, in which case you can suggest a different idea)
  • And of course you'll get credited as executive producer both in the show notes and "on air" during the episode you helped create
  • Plus all previous rewards
Goals
$67 of $350 per month
Season 2 happens! After the initial 13-episode run, there'll be a bit of a break and then another 13 episodes for a total of 26 episodes a year.

If this goal is not met before season one ends, I'll ask all patrons to vote between a few options for how the show proceeds (different release schedule, change of format, etc).
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Welcome to The Life and Times of Video Games, a new documentary podcast about the history and culture of video games. My name is Richard Moss.

Who?

I'm a writer, journalist, and historian, with seven years of experience covering video games and technology. You may have read one of the many hundreds of freelance articles I've written — perhaps something on Ars Technica, where I write big features on things like The Fall of Core Design (the original Tomb Raider creators) and have a long-running game genre history series (here's my favourite entry, on city-building games); or maybe on Polygon or Rock Paper Shotgun or Gamasutra or any of two dozen other publications. A lot of my past work is on my portfolio.

I have a book on the Secret History of Mac Gaming coming out in March. I also produce a podcast about play, and I love music, dance, film, and learning new stuff. My cat is named Max.

What is this thing?

The Life & Times of Video Games is an audio documentary series about video games and the video game industry, as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are now.
That means that each episode is scripted, edited, and deeply-researched, with interviews and archival audio used whenever appropriate (and possible).

Why audio? Why not make videos instead?

My skills are way better suited to audio production than video, but I also believe that the experience of just listening can be more powerful — more evocative of a sense of place or being — than having lots of pretty pictures to distract your imagination. Audio is also a growing storytelling medium now, thanks to the popularity of podcasts and audiobooks, and there's nobody else doing this kind of show out there.

I'm new to Patreon, how does this work?

Most of the documentaries I produce will find their way into a podcast feed, available for everyone on iTunes and through other podcast platforms with one or two ads per episode. If you'd like to support me, however, you'll get access to patron-only stuff like a special interruption/ad-free podcast feed and — depending on your level of contribution — extra content like extended interviews and research findings.

The best thing is that by supporting me here you can have a real impact on how The Life & Times of Video Games evolves over time. I'll be paying close attention to comments and ideas from my patrons, and will conduct polls and group chats from time to time to make sure we're all happy about the show's trajectory.

When can I expect new episodes?

Episodes will come out fortnightly(ish), in seasons. Episode 1 is about the race to the bottom in the early iOS App Store, where developers found themselves locked in a price war that none of them wanted. Episode 2 is about one of the first flight simulator games, Airfight, which is from the 1970s. More recently, Episode 6 looked at the history of a 1990s ROM hacking and translation group, while Episodes 7 and 8 delved deeply into the underappreciated significance of the grid-based level editor to the success and enormous cultural impact of the early Tomb Raider games.

Season 1 has 13 episodes, most of which are between 15 and 35 minutes long. After that I'll take a break, and if we've reached the Season 2 goal I'll return with 13 more episodes. If we don't hit the Season 2 funding goal, I'll ask patrons to vote on a future direction for the series that's less time-consuming for me.

Occasionally I'll release one-off audio stories — both shorter ones, about specific events or milestones in games history or fun/interesting soundbites (like this story about Bill Gates) from interviews I've conducted, and longer ones that dive deeply into a meaty and complex subject. But the core show is 15-35 minute documentaries.

Can you actually pull this off?

I have a master's degree in journalism. I've written dozens of multi-sourced long-form feature articles about games history and culture, some of which have won or been nominated for awards. This kind of research and interview-heavy storytelling is totally my thing, and I'd much rather do it than continue to freelance full time (which requires doing other less interesting kinds of work to pay the bills).

I've also been a musician most of my life, and I've spent the past two years learning audio engineering and production in my spare time. Listen to any of my newer audio work and compare it to my early stuff — I'd like to think my talent speaks for itself, and I'm only going to get better.

I'm committed to making this show work long-term, but in the end it'll come down to you. Will you join me on this journey?

Recent posts by Richard Moss

Tiers
Fan
$1 or more per month 2 patrons
  • Sleep well knowing that you're helping to make the show sustainable
Subscriber
$3 or more per month 5 patrons
  • Access to the patron-only feed where I'll be posting interruption-free, ad-free episodes, extended interviews, and other bonus content
  • Transcripts of every episode
Backstage Pass
$6 or more per month 1 patron
  • Get to be a part of everything that goes on behind the scenes — regular updates, research notes, and annotated screenshots showing how The Life & Times of Video Games gets made
  • First look at or listen to new projects such as feature-length specials and other ideas that break with the normal show structure
  • Plus all previous rewards
Producer
$10 or more per month 2 patrons
  • Your name in the credits/show notes (published with the episode on lifeandtimes.games)
  • Vote on future episode topics and the long-term direction of the show
  • Plus all previous rewards
Executive Producer
$30 or more per month 1 patron
  • Be my boss on one episode per year — you get to choose a topic you care about and work with me to iron out an angle of approach, and then (if you want) to give me feedback at every stage of production (note that I reserve the right to veto your topic choice for any reason, in which case you can suggest a different idea)
  • And of course you'll get credited as executive producer both in the show notes and "on air" during the episode you helped create
  • Plus all previous rewards