I had never listened to podcasts before the CAGCast. I thought a podcast was a boring pre-recorded talk radio session for people who would rather listen to people drone on and on about various things instead of listening to music. I have always loved listening to music and carry around a pair of earbuds connected to my phone with me almost every day. It’s uncommon for me to not listen to something unless I’m asleep. But after awhile, around holiday season 2016, I just couldn’t find anything I wanted to listen to anymore. I wanted something I could press play and not have to search for what I wanted to listen to every couple of minutes. So I started brainstorming.
“If I don’t feel like listening to music but I also don’t want to sit in silence, what do I do? What do I listen to?” I asked myself. I searched Billboard 100 lists, scanned through radio stations to find a new artist to listen to, etc etc. But nothing. So then I thought “podcasts are a huge deal right now, it seems like everyone is either producing their own or listening to one…” which gave me the idea to start looking for different kinds of podcasts available on iTunes on my iPhone. I browsed different topics such as technology, finance, story-telling, and finally, gaming. I wasn’t even listening to any of them at first, I was simply looking for the best-sounding podcast name. 8-4 Play, Giant Bombcast, What’s Good Games, so on and so forth. They all sounded decent. Then I found the CAGCast from Cheap Ass Gamer. I thought “that’s a great website name, it’s bound to be funny!” I wasn’t wrong.
Alright I Get It, Tell Me About The Podcast
The CAGCast is a weekly gaming podcast where the crew CheapyD, Wombat, and Shipwreck cover new releases, game shopping deals, gaming industry news, and plenty more depending on the week they’re covering. They tend to stick to their “cheap ass” theme by including whether games they’re reviewing are worth full price, to wait for a price drop, or to skip it altogether and put your hard-earned money towards something better. Do they always watch their spending habits to make sure they’re getting the best deals? No. But they have no problem making it very clear to listeners that they have buyer’s remorse, something that I really appreciate when I’m stuck on a decision of buying a game or not.
These CAGs aren’t some guys who work for a big gaming company who get paid to do a podcast as part of their full-time job. CheapyD is the owner of CheapAssGamer.com and has built his website up in the last 15 years to be in the position he’s in now. Both Wombat and Shipwreck have full-time jobs not related to the gaming industry, and the podcast is just another way for the gang to talk about things they’re all passionate about (and things they might not be so passionate about). They all have families of their own, play games in their free time, just like most adult gamers do. Although I don’t have children, I find myself relating to having plenty of things to do when I would rather be gaming. It’s a small overlooked detail about this podcast that I enjoy relating to.
About The Cast
The guys have some interesting traits that make the show unique. I know, everyone is unique, but these things shine through more than others. CheapyD, now living in New York, lived in Tokyo, Japan for 9 years which gave him the ability to see the Japanese gaming industry and culture first-hand. He would go around to different towns near Tokyo to check out games, tried different Japanese foods & drinks, went to the notorious Love Hotels, and much more. For quite some time, they had a section on the podcast called “Your Man in Japan” dedicated to Cheapy’s adventures and lifestyle in Japan as an outsider who spoke very little Japanese. Cheapy and his wife had their child in Japan as well which made things very interesting for Cheapy as he had to take on fatherly duties in a country he wasn’t all too familiar with.
Wombat lives in New York and, for awhile, was trying to find the career that fit him best. He now has a good marketing job that he’s been at for quite some time even though Cheapy gave him grief about it from the beginning. He keeps the listeners updated on his many endeavors such as raising two children, dealing with in-laws, having some sort of contagious illness at least once a month, and the adventures on the Long Island Railroad. For roughly a year he was the writer for what was the gaming blog at Underground Gaming Online before it was acquired by another gaming news company. He was tasked with writing a certain number of posts per day per week and brought a good amount of traffic to the site because of it. UGO also assisted with providing contest prizes for the cast to give away on the podcast.
Shipwreck, from Cincinnati, is a very avid gamer, with having an entire entertainment area in his home dedicated to gaming. He has said, before having children, he could game before and after work for hours at a time, plus some weekends dedicated to gaming and writing reviews on games. Obviously now he spends more time as a father but still manages to play games many hours of the week. In my opinion, and I mean no disrespect to the other hosts of the podcast, Shipwreck has played a bigger role in the video game coverage and insight for the podcast. I say this because I find myself nodding in agreement with his opinions on gameplay or graphics, his comparison of games to other games, and even some of his witty comebacks to the other hosts. He adds a lot to the podcast and keeps the gaming talk rolling throughout the show.
My Overall Thoughts About The Podcast
This podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested in gaming, whether it be news, reviews, deals, jokes, basically anything. Without a doubt I’ve felt differently from one episode to another but I always look forward to the newest show every Friday morning and loathe the days that are missed due to the cast having conflicting plans. Though I’d like to get down to my issues with the show.
Occasionally they can bring the show’s enthusiasm down a bit with “I can’t be bothered to play game X because *insert reason here*)” in a way that makes me think “you just don’t seem into it this show, why bother?” But this can be expected after doing over 500 episodes over the last ~13 years. After going back and listening to every episode since the very first episode, I noticed that I wasn’t a fan of old Wombat. His negative attitude that he got every now and then can be tiresome, or when he randomly felt the need to voice his forced devil’s advocate opinion for the sake of being controversial as if it were adding to the show is cringe-worthy. My theory, however, is that he’s mellowed out quite a bit since he’s now raising two children which has forced him to cut back on his gaming time, as expected.
The show as a whole is great. They’ve covered many expos over the years such as E3, made listeners heard with their routine show feedback and “CAG Bag”, and have done a lot of good for the gaming community. This is the only gaming podcast I listen to and quite honestly, I’m on my second run listening to all the episodes. They’re hilarious, provide great advice, and there’s rarely a dull moment. I can’t recommend the show enough to anyone looking for a good laugh and some gaming insight from three average guys who have grown up with video games and have made them a large part of their every-day lives.
Check out episode 531: Hot Topics and Pockets here!