Welcome to Hey Lesson!

Hi. If you’re reading this it means Hey Lesson has launched with few problems and I can breathe a big sigh of relief. As the world slides deeper into a twisting gyre of general horribleness, I wanted to make something that might make people smile and say “huh, cool”. I’ve spent the last couple of months planning and creating this podcast, with help from a lot of friends.

Basically, it’s a show where we talk to clever people about silly videogames (and sometimes even smart ones). We might speak to a professor of infectious diseases about the brain parasites of Baldur’s Gate 3. Or we might talk to a caving instructor about the animals you find in Spelunky 2. But whatever our topic, we also chat about the game. It’s half a celebration of videogames, and half an investigation of planet Earth.

That means Hey Lesson is going to be an accessible, friendly show about learning. It’s just that we do it via the clandestine medium of videogames, the Trojan horse of trivia. If you’ve ever listened to Science(ish) or watched PBS shows like Eons or Storied, or if you’ve ever clicked on one of those Wired videos where an expert tells you everything wrong about spy movies… then Hey Lesson is hopefully another place to get a similar mix of facts and fun.

Sometimes our shows might tread ground you already know, whether that’s a videogame you’ve played to death, or a research paper about bird migration you’ve already read about in Big Birds Bi-Weekly. That’s okay. There’s a popular comic about people learning something for the first time, and I want Hey Lesson to embrace that spirit.

Let’s say some thanks-yous before I go. A huge thanks to these guest co-hosts first of all – Paula Deming, Matthew Castle and Paul Dean for being willing to appear on a podcast that did not yet exist. Thank you to the experts of all our launch episodes – Alan Weisman, Ofir Turel, and Christine Grosart – for being likewise willing. Big thanks also to my wife and brother for being the unofficial focus group for every thought I ever have, and to the gang at The Old Ranch for tolerating my requests for feedback. A mega thanks to Anni Sayers of People Make Games for creating our brilliant logo, a light-bulb fairy who welcomes everyone with a smile. I hereby christen this mascot “Lumi”.

Hey Lesson is free to listen to. But you can support us on Patreon for as little as $2 a month, which will let you listen to unabridged interviews with our experts (not just the edited segment we have in the episodes). There are also other tiers with more rewards, such as bonus episodes, video updates, and end-of-episode shoutouts. Give it a look!

If you can’t afford to subscribe monthly, but still want to help out, you can give us a one-off tip through Ko-fi. You won’t get the extra goodies of Patreon, sadly, but I bet you’ll still feel good about supporting us!

That’s all for now. Even if you’re not a supporter, thanks for listening. If you like our show, please tell your friends and share links to your favourite episodes. The more listeners we get, the more likely we can continue making Hey Lesson a fun, interesting place to learn about our ridiculous planet and beyond.


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