Podcast Episodes

I started to listen to a lot of podcasts around 2009. In 2010 I started Chengdu Living and shortly after, was conceptualizing a podcast about Chengdu with friends. It turned into the Chengdu Living Podcast, and since then I’ve started the Chengdu Gaming Federation and joined some others.

You can download or stream all podcasts from the links below, but what most people do is subscribe to the podcast through their smartphone and listen there. If you have an iPhone, I recommend Overcast.

Featured as a Guest

Chengdu Living Podcast

  • #28: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Chengdu – In this episode I’m joined by Jerry and Andrew of CDBJJ, a local Brazilian jiu-jitsu organization founded in 2011, as we talk about the spread of the sport across China.
  • #27: One Month in Chinese Jail – Recorded with an American who served one month in a Sichuan jail. Discussion about the circumstances of his incarceration and his experience inside the jail.
  • #26: Mastering Chinese – How to succeed at high achievement in Chinese language. Recorded with Phil, co-founder of Chengdu based language school Mandarin Blueprint, which leverages the very-effective Heisig Method.
  • #25: Moving Money out of China and Bitcoin – Learn about what methods are at expats’ disposal to move funds internationally, including bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
  • #24: Sichuan Food in Chengdu – The popularity of Sichuan food globally cannot be overstated, but what’s it like in the Sichuan capital city? Joined by Jordan of Chengdu Food Tours.
  • #23: Why Expat Businesses Fail – What is it that makes running a business in China so uniquely hard as a foreigner? I’m joined by friends Chris and Johnny (both F&B entrepreneurs) to examine this question.
  • #22: Co-Working & Entrepreneurship in Chengdu – Analysis of the rapidly emerging co-working space in Chengdu, with Mike Z of local startup Walnut.
  • #21: Game Design & China – An exploration of China’s game industry, from the perspective of international game designers and educators. Guests from Holland-based Breda University’s Game Architecture and Design school.
  • #20: Bicycle Share Programs – Recorded with the American founders of the Natooke bicycle shop in Chengdu, we discuss the recent phenomenon of shared bicycles which are taking over the city. What does it mean for Natooke and for cycling in Chengdu?
  • #19: Chengdu Underground Music – Two expat documentarians join me on the podcast to explore Chengdu’s underground music scene, with a specific focus on electronic music and the DJ scene.
  • #17: Viral Videos & Social Media in China – Recent videos of sex in a Uniqlo changing room and a Tianjin explosion have gone viral in China. What do these videos say about how culture transmits in China’s internet era?
  • #16: The Iron Pig in Chengdu – Our favorite new restaurant has finally opened up a storefront in Tongzilin after kicking off business in Flower Town. We talk barbecue and business with the founder of Chengdu’s one and only authentic smoke barbecue restaurant, the Iron Pig.
  • #15: Natooke and Bicycling in Chengdu – There’s no one better to speak on the topic of cycling than the proprietors of the Natooke bicycle shop, which makes machines of remarkable quality right here in Chengdu.
  • #14: Summertime in Chengdu – Our favorite time of year is filled with things like bicycles and ice cream. But there’s much more to summertime in Chengdu, which we discuss in this podcast.
  • #13: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in China – China-based mixed martial artist Vaughn “Blud” Anderson came to the Chengdu Living studio to talk about his history living, fighting, and promoting MMA in China.
  • #12: Inside the Sinostage Dance Studio – Eli tells the story of co-founding the Sinostage dance studio in Chengdu with his wife. Also discussed: Sinostage’s Arena Dance Battle, featuring dance teams from all across China.
  • #10: Johnny 5 Donuts –  We talk to Johnny about his donut business, the life he left in America, transitioning to life in Chengdu, and his aspirations in China that go way beyond just pastries.
  • #9: Endangered Languages – We sit down with John Van Way, a University of Hawaii PhD candidate, to talk about documenting the endangered Sichuan-native Nyarong Minyag language.
  • #8: White Monkey Work – In this episode of the podcast we discuss “White Monkey” work: a colloquial term which encompasses all the odd-jobs that we’re qualified to do simply by virtue of being foreigners.
  • #7: What’s New in the Du – For our first podcast back after Spring Festival, we talk about notable bits of news, soccer in Chengdu, a Reddit post about Chinese soft power efforts, and a couple of interesting posts on the Chengdu Living forums.
  • #6: Inside Mike’s Pizza Kitchen – In this episode we go inside Chengdu’s most beloved expat eatery, Mike’s Pizza Kitchen in the Tongzilin neighborhood, and speak to its notorious proprietor Mike. Learn about how Mike built his business from an at-home delivery operation into a local favorite, how he makes his pizza, and his history with Elvis.
  • #5: Love & Dating in China – How does dating work in China, and what makes relationships here different from in our home countries? We discuss these questions and many more with our good friend and nationally-televised dating show contestant Lana, an American woman who’s been in Chengdu for three years.
  • #4: All About Learning Chinese – In this episode we compare and contrast our successes and failures in learning Mandarin and share our favorite tools for acquiring proficiency in Chinese. From formal training programs to university study and self-study, we discuss all of our combined 25 years of learning Chinese.
  • #3: Pollution, “Real Life” in China, and Uber – In this episode we discuss recent topics relevant to Chengdu: seasonal pollution, a recently popular post on Reddit about real life in China, and controversy surrounding the emergence and subsequent crackdown on Uber in China.
  • #2: Nationality, China’s Music Festivals, and Bicycle Thieves – How does having a child in China work? Sascha shares his story of having two children in China and acquiring American citizenship for them both, as well as recent controversy surrounding the Big Love music festival in Chengdu. Lastly we discuss bicycle thieves in Chengdu, share our stories of bike love and loss, and impart tips on how to prevent your bicycle from being stolen.
  • #1: Cancer Oil, Chengdu’s Spy Network, and Water Contamination – So called Cancer Oil has been a major recent controversy in Chengdu, which we explain and break down in this episode. Chengdu’s alleged spy network and contamination of local water sources are also recent events which we discuss on this, our first episode of the Chengdu Living Podcast.

Chengdu Gaming Federation Podcast

  • #27: 2018 Steam Sale, China’s Last? – Looking back on the biggest Steam sale of the year, and what is perhaps the last Steam sale that we can enjoy with accounts set to the China region. Will Valve’s new arrangement for China, in partnership with Perfect World, destroy Steam sales as we know them to comply with increasingly tight regulation?
  • #26: The Beauty of Zelda’s Master Mode – In this episode we share our experience completing Breath of the Wild’s Master Mode, which is a hard mode included with the option DLC pack. Is Master Mode worth playing? Absolutely, but it includes some qualities you might not expect, which we reflect on.
  • #25: Horror & Survival Games: The History and Our Favorites – After just completing The Evil Within, we discuss the details of that game along with the history of the survival horror genre, including discussion of games like Resident Evil, Dead by Daylight, Sweet Home, and more.
  • #24: Examining the Civilization Series, Plus the Latest Expansion – In this episode of the podcast we talk about the nearly 30-year history of Sid Meier’s Civilization series, and discuss the imminent first expansion of Civ VI, Rise and Fall.
  • #23: Rise of the Survival Genre – In this episode we discuss the explosive popularity of the survival game genre, typified by PUBG. An exploration into the mechanics, themes, and settings which underpin some of our favorite recent survival games.
  • #22: Game Platforms Inside & Outside of China – In this episode of the podcast we discuss merits of the most popular gaming platforms around the world, from Steam to WeChat, and more.
  • #21: 2017 Games of the Year – In this episode we complete our year-end roundup of our top games of the year. Including some of the usual suspects mentioned everywhere (Mario, Zelda) along with some others you might not expect to hear about.
  • #20: Nintendo Switch, Mario Odyssey, and Zelda BoTW – In this episode of the podcast we discuss the Nintendo Switch, the recently-released Mario Odyssey, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  • #19: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in China – In this episode of the podcast we’re discussing the global smash hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and its complex and strange relationship with China.
  • #18: Free to Play Mechanics in Games – In this episode we talk about the free to play business model which has defined the modern mobile game landscape. Joined by Ryan, who authored a series of blog posts on these mechanics.
  • #17: Gaming Myths & Urban Legends – Exploration of some of the most intriguing myths and urban legends in gaming, including Polybius, Earthbound, Ben Drowned, Braid, and more.
  • #16: Nintendo SNES Classic & Beyond – Impressions of the recently-released SNES Classic, along with our favorite games included within the console’s 21 included games.
  • #15: Killing Nazis in Video Games – In the wake of a tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia we discuss some of our favorite memories killing nazis in video games.
  • #14: 20XX & This War of Mine – A recap of two games which we recently raced to complete: 20XX and This War of Mine.
  • #13: How We Emulate Retro Games – An overview of our emulation setups, from Raspberry Pi to full-blown Launchbox-based automation systems on Windows 10.
  • #12: Game Development in China – Joined by another American expat with experience in the game industry, we discuss how we got in and what it’s like to work in China’s game industry.
  • #11: The GPD Win, a Windows 10 Handheld – First impressions and review of the China-made GPD Win device, a handful Windows 10 computer which is great for indie and retro games.
  • #10: Steam 2017 Summer Sale – The Steam Sale is upon us again, and we discuss some of the biggest games featured, along with the psychology of the Steam sale and what it means to the PC gaming community.
  • #9: Zelda’s Popularity in China, plus Breath of the Wild – The hardship of finding Zelda in China, what it means to locals, and impressions of the WiiU version of Breath of the Wild.
  • #8: Spring 2017 Games – A roundup of recent releases in the spring of 2017, including Strafe, What Remains of Edith Finch, and more.
  • #7: Social Gaming & CGF’s 75th Event – In this episode we reflect on what makes a great social game, plus our 75th event.
  • #6: 25 Years of Mortal Kombat – Having just hosted a Mortal Kombat X tournament, we’re joined by the tournament winner as we talk about the history of the series.
  • #5: Our Favorite Sega Genesis Games – A roundup of our favorite Sega Genesis games, from Kid Chameleon and Rocket Knight Adventures to Streets of Rage and Gunstar Heroes.
  • #4: Gaming in China – In this episode we talk about gaming in China specifically, and all that that entails. Platforms, games, and China’s culture of gaming.
  • #3: Our Favorite NES Games – A roundup of our favorite original Nintendo NES games, including Metroid, Zelda, Castlevania, Spy Hunter, and more.
  • #2: Our 5 Favorite Indie Games – In this episode of the podcast we talk about our 5 favorite indie games of all time, including: Enter the Gungeon, Hotline Miami, Undertale, Broforce, and more.
  • #1: Introduction to CGF – In this, our first episode of the Chengdu Gaming Federation podcast, we introduce ourselves and the CGF initiative.