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Radio show spreads gaming culture on campus

BY SAM STEWART | SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 6:30 AM

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Three video-game lovers spend every Friday afternoon cramped together in a small room in the middle of campus. But instead of being clustered around the latest Xbox release, they are huddled around microphones, sharing stories about their gaming exploits with KRUI listeners.

Why do they do it?

“Honestly, I think the real answer is this just gave us an excuse to get together and talk about games,” Ben Moore said, describing his good friends and cohosts Jayson Gegner and Brian Albert and their radio show. “I enjoy talking to these guys so much I would do it even if we just met at a house.”

The three started the radio show “Hey! Listen!” in February 2011. The show, which includes gaming discussions, news, and music, streams online at KRUI’s the Lab from 4 to 6 p.m. every Friday.

“[‘Game Culture’] feels like it is sort of emerging with this class that we are in and with EPX studios,” Albert said, referring to Kyle Moody’s video-game reporting class and a student organization that develops video games.

“Only the past year or two have games been a presence on this campus in any official way at all,” he said.

The three said the show is a way for them to support gaming culture on campus, something they feel quite passionate about.

“I just feel like there’s no voice for games,” Moore said. “I hope this kind of encourages people to get out and talk about games and sort of formulate a culture at Iowa.”

The three have been playing games for years and they had been thinking of starting a radio show for awhile. The idea eventually materialized when they recorded their Skype conversations while gaming.

"Brian and I just sat down when I was first playing Mass Effect and we talked for thirty minutes on Skype," said Gegner.

Moore joined Gegner and Albert shortly after, and the three have been permanent show members ever since. After contacting Dolan Murphy, KRUI’s previous general manager, they got a spot on the online radio station, the Lab.

Gegner, Moore, and Albert said they have big plans for the show’s future.

“We want to get onto the proper 89.7 [KRUI],” Gegner said. “Then we can set up interviews, and we can have people call in.”

Moore said getting on the actual radio, rather than online-only streaming, would help them improve the show’s outreach.

“I would really like to incorporate user feedback, whether it was just talking about emails or having people send in questions over Twitter,” he said. “I would like to extend this to as many people at the university as possible.”

As journalism majors, the three have experience writing news, but they say the radio show offers a different kind of practice.

“For the three of us trying to get into the field of game journalism, it is necessary for us to have this experience and important that we constantly flex that muscle of talking about games,” recent UI graduate Gegner said.

For now, the game buffs are happy just exposing the public to their knowledge.

“The problem with video games is they’re so amazing,” Moore said. “There are so many ones that are so good, and I have people come up to me all the time, and they’re like, ‘I don’t know what to play,’ and I’m like, ‘Dude, there’s all this stuff.’ There are so many games that don’t get enough exposure. If there is one thing that I want to do, I want to expose people to all this great stuff.”

“Hey! Listen!”
•When: 4 to 6 p.m. Fridays
•Where: KRUI’s the Lab, live stream on krui.fm
•Facebook: Hey Listen Facebook
•Twitter: @HeyLstn,
•Gmail: HeyListeners@gmail.com


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