The Video Games Show (VGS for short) first hit the Internet airwaves on April 7, 2004. The brainchild of Rich Bergin, Chris “Hoss” Neupert and Michael “Nickel” Nicholson, the concept of the show came from three gamers that happened to work at a sports radio station (KFNS, 590 AM St. Louis, MO) and spent most of their free time talking about games. Our idea was a radio show for gamers that would be made by gamers, not by people that let their opinions be influenced by how much free stuff game companies would give away. We wanted to provide reviews and opinions based on the common gamer that just spent $60 on the latest games. The first ever episode of VGS was intended to be a pilot program for a proposed call in show on KFNS. When the concept was deemed not suited for the format of the station, the crew decided to create http://www.videogamesshow.com as a place to download and listen to the show. This was all before podcasting was even a concept. Using a grassroots campaign of posting (and getting banned) from various video game forums, VGS found an audience that grew and grew.
In 2005, The Video Games Show first appeared in podcast form on iTunes. They also established relationships with Internet radio networks stageselect.com and allgames.com. These moves expanded the VGS audience to a worldwide level. Between late 2005 and early 2007, the VGS operations expanded even further. This included expanding the VGS website to include forums and editorials by the staff, becoming part of the Microsoft Zune network and included the additions of Marketing Manager/Co-Host Ariel and regular guest host Officer Sam. Many other unusual ideas were incorporated, including VGS poker nights, mini episodes featured on the VGS MySpace page and adding interns (this didn’t take off as it was envisioned). All and all, VGS was growing bigger and bigger.
Then, in May 2007, Nickel left the show, which created a major void in VGS as Nickel was not just the “Freak in the Cage,” but he was also in charge of the technical and online operations of VGS. During this transitional period, one time guest Nick “Kraft” Kraftor took on the reigns of Producer, a difficult task considering he lived a different city at the time. Despite some internal issues, including the exit of Ariel, VGS was reformatted and changes were made in the layout of the show that remain in place today. Once he moved back to St. Louis, Kraft was invited to be the third host along with Rich and Hoss. This new element breathed new life into the show and added the now trademarked sarcastic tone to the show.
After the birth of his first child and a major promotion at KFNS, Hoss left the show (though he occasionally appeared for few more episodes) in February 2008, leaving control of VGS to Rich and Kraft. They continued to record at the KFNS studios until March 2009, where they then built and started recording from a home studio. During this period, Kraft introduced new concepts of audience interaction using Skype, a chat room built into the VGS website, and even using webcams during the show. It was during this period that “Big” Josh Dick and Ron “Bongo” Brock started on their VGS journey, going from listeners to future members of the VGS crew. Rich and Kraft then introduced a second podcast, Bombed Out Radio (BoR), which began as an uncensored, non-gaming related pre-show before each episode of VGS. BoR lasted for 37 episodes before being retired as the crew made their next big transition.
Kraft started attending the University of Missouri-St. Louis and began doing a weekly, Monday night radio show called This Week in Geek. It wasn’t long before Rich joined in and VGS found a new home at The U (http://www.umslradio.com) and has remained ever since August 2010, broadcasting every Monday from 9p-11p CST. It was through The U that Rich and Kraft met future VGS Manager “Playtex” Keith Robinson, who went from boss man extreme to regular co-host. In addition, The U served as location of the historical episodes 300 & 400, as well as GameAPalooza 2010. Finally, after feeling a bit stir crazy, Rich and Kraft built the VGS mobile studio so that the show can be taken on location for midnight game launches, Game Jams, St. Louis Game Developer meet-ups, and even the ever favorite On-the-Road episodes as the boys go video game hunting. Kraft took a much needed hiatus for family reasons which spawned new co-host Addy, Mr Smith, and Cassie to fill in. VGS has since left The U after will be going homegrown with an in house studio bringing in Skype for opportunities with new co-host and listeners to call or skype in to the show starting October 2015. Kraft has returned from hiatus.
All in all, it has been a wild road from the humble beginnings of The Video Games Show since April 2004. One thing that has held true since day one is the crew is always focused on entertaining the listeners every week and presenting the gaming industry from the view of the everyday gamer. Sure, the guys may have become more bitter, sarcastic, and occasionally bias over the years, but VGS remains stronger than ever as we approach the ten year anniversary. Here’s to many more years of VGS insanity. Bang howdy!
Favorite Game: Super Metroid (SNES)
Least Favorite Game: Gravity Games (PS2/Xbox)
While working at a sports radio station in 2003, I, along with Hoss & Nickel, created The Video Games Show. What started out as a grassroots, word-of-mouth effort became the world famous podcast that his listened to in but one of the Earth’s continents (someone download an episode in Antarctica please). Besides hosting, I am responsible for organizing the news, post editing the shows, and creating new content whenever possible. With a background in radio broadcasting, audio production, writing, comedy and improv, I use all my creative abilities to put together the most informative, entertaining and outright funny episodes each and every week. Bang Howdy and welcome in!
Over the years I have turned into an indy-game junkie. A lot of these overproduced, overpriced, over-hyped “games” just don’t appeal to me as much they used to. Nowadays I am more at home playing through classic games on one of my many classic consoles or seeing what gems are available for a couple bucks on the Xbox Live Arcade or Steam.
I’m curious to see where the gaming industry is going to go in the next 10 years. With more new gaming concepts, such as episodic gaming, I have hope that gaming may come around to what originally made it great challenging gameplay and fantastic story arcs. No matter what happens to the game industry, I will be here to give frank and candid opinions that are not influenced by game company hype and sway.
There are guys who are just video game junkies and then there is me. My relation with the show started when I was named the evil station manager by Rich and Kraft. For some reasons, on Monday nights, I kept showing up at the station and finally they invited me in. So, now, I get the joy of being yelled almost every Monday night!But seriously, I’m not against games, I just don’t play them cause I never had the time. Thankfully, Rich and Kraft are helping me become a gamer just like all of you. So, sooner or later, I will finally past a Level 1 and reach Level 2. When that happens, I couldn’t tell you, but it will be a fun journey!
Favorite Game – Diablo 2
Least Favorite Game – W.O.W.
Been a listener and follower of VGS for several years. I was around for basically the start of the podcast with Hoss, Rich and Nickel. I’ve been here through the divorce and restart of VGS and started contributing to the show about a year ago, starting with just emails into the show and geeking out like a little kid because I heard my name on a podcast. Slowly, I started contributing more and was an admin for the VGS Minecraft Server. Being an admin for the server, I started calling into the show to give updates to the server and started getting to know the guys. After starting to submit questions that became the segment “Would You Rather….” and creating a couple audio games, Rich and Kraft asked me to become a little more permanent fixture in the VGS Crew and I was more than happy to accept their invite.
A little about me – I’ve been a gamer since the Atari 2600. Been a NES/SNES gamer, Playstation 1-3 and dabble a little in PC gaming as well. Currently been in a retro gaming kick, going back to my roots of gaming….
I have worked with both Rich and Kraft on a previous and awful project called Xbox Addict for where I am damaged goods as a human being after the giveaways from hell on that site. – I kid Stephen….
Former LAN Party host with two events in Virginia over 10 years. PC Gaming runs in my veins though I have an Xbox 360 and PS3. I will play just about any type of game. My first computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80 and my first gaming system was an Atari 800 that would also play Atari 2600 games…that is how far back I go! I love technology and keeping up with any geek industry news.
As regular supporter of VGS behind the scenes for the past few years, I found the guys wanting true talent on the show and they start creating (torturing) me with any segments initially. From Ask Big Josh/Santa to Josh’s momma jokes. It is all in good fun and it is a privilege to be on the show with these guys. In my spare time, I host my own podcast. Tune in after listening to VGS to the Geeked Out Podcast w/ Chris and Josh.
Chris “Hoss” Neupert – Creator/Host
Mike “Nickel” Nicholson – Creator/Producer
Ariel – Marketing Manager
Officer Sam – Guest Host
Matt Wilscom – Intern
Sarah Kraftor – Voice of VGS
“Engineer Greg” Brown – Engineer
Logan “Doc” Brown – Guest Host
Brandon Schell – Guest Host
“Roadie Ben” Wetteroff – VGS Roadie