Video Game News Radio (shortened to VGN Radio), is a weekly podcast that covers the topic of Video Games. From June 2006 until January 2009, the show was also known as Medispective, and covered a range of topics on electronic media in general, specifically video games, but also movies and music. But in recent months, to commemorate the 5 year anniversary, Kevin Baird announced that the show would return to the format that they started with in 2004, (Press Junket, Game Reviews, the Top 25 Titles of the Week, and the Letter Bag) and only cover Video Game News. The show is currently hosted by Kevin Baird, Brian Baird, Larry Mac, Donn Seuss and Don Anderson, sometimes featuring guests such as Akuma and JediHillis. VGN is incorporated in Cleveland, Ohio and has been online for 10 years with the podcast running since mid-2004. They have done NPR interviews and have appeared on television as point-counterpoint on national news shows.
Kevin Baird announced on the June 24th 2009 episode of VGN, there are currently 25,000 or more individual listeners to VGN Radio.
- Kevin Baird
Kevin founded Video Game News in 1995 and has hosted Video Game News Radio since July 2004. He works as a computer programmer, website developer, and broadcaster. His shows include VGNR, Kevin's Oblast Radio, Cleveland Sports Radio, Midwest Wasteland, MediSpective, and Spill.com's The Loading Bar. He owns a sizable video game console collection (165+ systems in total, including the rather-rare Gizmondo) and is comfortable talking about all platforms and all genres. Kevin generally plays the role of facilitator. Keeping the shows on topic while the rest of the hosts wander in their discussions. Part of the appeal is that Kevin will grow angry with the other hosts and yell at them during the show.
- Brian Baird
Brian is Kevin's older brother. Formerly in the U.S. Navy, and currently a professional truck driver for True Value Hardware. Brian provides commentary and game reviews, but also spends a great deal of time mocking the other hosts and providing background banter. Brian is an avid player of World of Warcraft.
- Larry Mac
Larry Mac is a systems administrator. He has a strong connection to the Cleveland music scene and has provided the podcast with much of its background music over the years. November 26, 2006 marked his first appearance as a regular host of Video Game News Radio. He was brought on board to replace Don Anderson, who after getting married was unavailable to record on Sunday evenings. Larry has a penchant for having many personal problems which impact his life in a black comedy way. Often his side stories are more interesting than the content he brings to the show.
- Don Anderson
Don is a waiter and part-time steel worker. He is easily the quietest of the three (some callers ironically address the show trio as "Don and Crew"), sometimes not saying anything for long periods of time. In earlier episodes his phone connection would constantly cut out, causing him to miss segments of the show, or need to delay the show to be reconnected. On January 7, 2007, Kevin announced that Don would no longer be a regular host, though he's still making frequent appearances as a guest. He is currently a regular on Midwest Wasteland, along with Donn Suesse.
- Guest Hosts
Jedi Hillis (the Christian), Karate Dog, Donn Suesse, and Akuma have guest hosted the show multiple times and are often fill-ins for the other hosts when they are away.
- Schizo Letter Bag- Each week one of the hosts comes up with a question to ask the audience, and Kevin (and now Brian) reads their responses at the end of the next show. It was briefly discontinued in May 2006, but was brought back in October in place of Brian's Five Minute's of Fame. Answers to the questions are submitted to the MediSpective contest entry page. The people who write in are entered into a prize giveaway contest for that week.
- Top 25 titles of the Week- Occasionally Top 10 and Top 20, Kevin lists off the top selling games, hardware and expansion packs of the week from amazon.com. Regular mentions are various iterations of Madden, various games from The Sims series, console bundles, and, surprisingly, Nancy Drew games.
- State Watch- Kevin reports when states propose law pertaining to video games. An example would be Michigan's proposal to make selling mature games to minors unconstitutional. A related topic is the laws passed in Australia that make more and more restrictions to gaming.
- Game Reviews- Don, Brian, and Kevin review current or next-gen titles. There's no consistency with the games chosen. Once in a while they'll both wind up doing a separate review for a game (example: Evil Dead Regeneration). When it comes to Don's review, the segment is referred to as "The Game Don Didn't Play This Week" because he often neglects to pick up a game to review, or will have selected a game but was unable to find time to play it. When he does review games, he rarely recommends them unless their prices have dropped significantly.
- Don & Brian's Five Minute Movie Review- Like the game-reviews portion, Don often doesn't watch a movie. A lot of the time, he either doesn't finish the game or sleeps through part of it. Brian's movie choice is mostly horror or sci-fi, specifically with zombie movies making a consistent appearance. Hosts that sub for Don/Brian generally review movies in his place.
- In Brief- Basically it's Kevin cutting to the heart of regular news, where he'll start the dialog between hosts. When the news is business-related, it's renamed "Business Brief".
- Press Junket- Beginning in September 2006, Kevin began the Press Junket segment in an effort to get more game-related news into the show. Basically, he reads video game-related press releases, while all of the hosts react. This segment replaced "In Brief."
- Games Coming Soon- As the title suggests, Kevin lists off the upcoming titles of the week for all the platforms. At the end of 2005, it was discontinued simply because the upcoming games weren't highly anticipated or particularly great.
- The Pirates Cove- Covers any news about piracy or illegal technology such as MAME emulators or PSP emulators.
Around June 2006, Kevin decided to change the name and tweak the format of the show. Kevin stated that the Video Game News Radio show's name would be changed officially to Medispective. This was done to distinguish it from the other radio shows on the RSS feed, such as Aabel's VGN Daily and Video Game News Radio Extended. However in 2009 Kevin changed the name back to Video Game News Radio and cut out the segments revolving around non video game related media. Kevin announced that MediSpective would continue as one-off shows that covered a topic about media in general, and these new shows would be included in the existing VGNR RSS feed.
From May 31, 2009, VGN's sister show Midwest Wasteland has been broadcast bi-weekly. Kevin realized that the tangents that the hosts went on in VGN Radio shows, consisting of stories of their childhood and others outside the topic of gaming, took up a large portion of the shows, but was also very popular. Midwest Wasteland was then started, in which the shows revolve around generic topics and the stories the VGN crew have involving them. The show's premiere episode was 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriends' and quickly became very popular and attracted more downloads and listeners.
Kevin consolidated the RSS feeds around January 2011 and includes new Midwest Wasteland episodes as part of the RSS subscription to Video Game News Radio.
As of March 1, 2011, Video Game News Radio has an iPhone and Android app which provides streaming music and bonus features for owners of the app.
- Official website
- Episode archive and RSS information at Libsyn
- Android App from Amazon
- iTunes App
- Spill.com - Associated Website