Monday, 19 September 2011

An Interview with Kevin Sousa (Paranerds)

Podcasts are an excellent way of grabbing the latest gaming news-with added banter. Like writing, it can be hard to get a podcast to "feel" right, but the Paranerds Podcast is an example of when a podcast is done right. 

I had the opportunity to ask Kevin Sousa, the host of Paranerds Podcast a few questions to find out what it is like running a gaming podcast, games, and much more.  

Q. Hello! Could you introduce yourself to my readers?

A: Why hello there, my name is Kevin Sousa owner and host of Paranerds and the Paranerds podcast

Q. How did Paranerds come about?

A: I've been listening to a lot of gaming podcasts at my old job and wanted to give it a shot. Obviously you can't do it alone, so I asked a good friend of mine if he'd like to take part in making the site. Rooster and I are the only ones in our group of friends who really care about video games. Instead of being called pair of nerds, we decided to make it a play on words saying Paranerds (instead of paranoid), not the best name I think, but it was brilliant at the time.

The site was supposed to be about movies, video games and music, and then turned to comics, and eventually it just became anything “nerdy” related, we do anything from TV Shows to Comics now.

Q. What has been the highlight of running the podcast and the site so far?

A: If you listen to our earlier episodes you can see we had absolutely no idea where we were going with it. We wanted to talk about games. but only could talk about retro games since at the time since that's all we had. We’ve had amazing interviews with Linkara and Iron Liz from atopthefourthwall along with Joe Olson of Fuel Cell Games and Andrew J. Smith from Spiltmilk Studios and that is always great .

As cool as that is, we have made a lot of good friend with fellow sites (classicl337, 4logpc just to name a few), and we have never met in person. It's just awesome to see that there is someone as nerdy as I am. Also some of the feedback is quite touching like the “Gay-mer” we had who was thrilled that we are all for Gay rights and what not, we just didn’t think that what we said mattered, not that it really does but someone was touched.

Q. Have you got a particular section of Paranerds that you prefer working on the most?

A: Definitely our Top Ten. I come up with a Top Ten once a month and it's the one that usually brings in the most hits. Unlike reviews where you are stuck on one game, in doing a top ten I'm able to jump back and forth from games in the 80’s to recent  games. it's a lot of work since there are so many top ten  lists out there  but I try to do something that hasn't been done and  that's the hard part.

Q. Are you pleased with the reaction Paranerds has received so far?

A: The fact that you're asking me that question answers this question. Paranerds still has a lot of room for improvement but for what it is I'm surprised people actually care about what two Canadian nerds have to say. I guess it's because Rooster and I have known each other since we were 8 and grew up playing games together, so we actually know what we are talking about, along with the fact that now that I started writing I can finally vent about all my frustrations in gaming.

Mind you, we do get more hate mail more than love mail, I'll take that as a good thing (never towards us but on something we said about a game i.e. Rooster hating Dragon Age 2).

Q. Any advice for anyone thinking of starting up their own gaming podcast and/or site?

Like Nike’s slogan, "just do it". I leave my site open for contributors that want to get their name out there but have no experience. Writing, or becoming part of the "video game journalism" world is tough since obviously you're writing about video games.
I know that California is huge for gaming journalism jobs but even just becoming a freelance writer is tough for the big companies. However if you really do want to make it, all I can say is:
A: Learn to write
B: Start your own site or freelance for others (most likely you won't get paid but it for experience, give any site a shot they're all trying)
C: Keep at it, most sites I contributed to shut down or just stopped caring. That is very disappointing.
D: Network, reach out and ask people for link exchanges. Listen to other podcasts and give en shout outs, read independent Blogger sites and ask if they would write for you. It's all about networking!

Q. Can you recommend a game (or two) for my readers to play?

I have to recommend ToeJam and Earl on the Sega Genesis, that game is gold. It’s so good for single and multiplayer. For recent systems, if you haven't played Fall Out 3 play that too, forget New Vegas! If you have an iOS Device get Super Brothers Sword and Sworcery for some independent goodness.

Q. And finally, what's next for the Paranerds?

We are slowly working on this. We will continue having great interviews on our podcast along with top tens but we are thinking about making video game video parodies.  We have made one and the feedback was awesome, so hopefully once we figure out how to edit videos we will have Paranerds Paradees in which we do little skits based on a video game. Still working on the name though.

8-Bit Girl: Thank you Kevin, and all the best for Paranerds!


  1. More hate mail than love mail? Really? That's a shame, for two guys who can geek-banter at a great pace, keeping discussion alive and poppin' quick. Funny, insightful, it's good.

  2. Interesting interview! I really enjoy it!

  3. Thanks for the kind comments guys!


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