Volunteering @ CFMU is a feature series going in-depth with our volunteers on their work at CFMU and how it has shaped aspects of their student, personal, and professional lives. Our over 160 volunteers are a diverse group with a wide mix of backgrounds, skills, and aspirations, and this series celebrates the unique relationships they have with us. For the feature series on CFMU alumni, see Life with Campus Radio.
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Much like podcasting, video game journalism is quickly on the rise from being a small media niche to becoming a mainstream platform.
Internet icons like podcasters The McElroy Brothers (two of whom co-founded hugely successful game journalism site Polygon), video producer Brian David Gilbert (who works at Polygon currently), and game critic Anita Sarkeesian (founder of news, podcast, and video site Feminist Frequency) have made names for themselves sharing news, opinions, and analysis on video games and the video game industry through a variety of mediums.
And here at CFMU? We have the Super Mac Bros.
These two CFMU hosts and McMaster students spend half an hour per week on-air, discussing the latest in gaming news and adding their own thoughts and perspectives into the mix. But the true magic is in the delivery; their back-and-forth is witty and their enthusiasm is infectious. As I prepare to host right after them on Fridays at 9 AM, I listen from the lobby and am consistently inspired and impressed.
Without further ado, here are the Super Mac Bros. themselves: Dario and Robby (with responses marked accordingly)!
What is your major and what year are you in at McMaster? Any fun facts you’d like to share?
Dario: Going into 3rd year Political Science. A fun fact is that I own over 400 unique video games.
Robby: I’m entering 3rd year Arts and Science. A fun fact about me is that I’m actually training to become a professional wrestler!
What do you do at CFMU and how long have you been doing it for?
D: At CFMU I am 1 of 2 co-hosts of Super Mac Bro’s, a gaming show that brings the latest releases, news and anything interesting in the gaming world, broadcast every Friday at 8:30am to 9am. We’re coming up on our 2 year anniversary in October!
R: And I’m the other co-host of that show, and it’s the best.
What inspired your love of video games? What are each of your favourite games?
D: My love of video games has stemmed from a childhood of Gameboys and Nintendo 64s, they’ve been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Being immersed in different worlds and playing what is essentially a storybook is always awesome. My favourite games would have to be Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts.
Being immersed in different worlds and playing what is essentially a storybook is always awesome.
R: One of my earliest memories is my brothers finally letting me play Super Smash Brothers Melee with them and having a blast. I've always been a fan of the sense of community playing video games together can bring, so I really only used to play multiplayer games. As I got older, I expanded my horizons more. As for favourites, Super Smash Brothers always holds a place on the top of my list, but for a deeper pull, the Danganronpa series is fantastic.
I've always been a fan of the sense of community playing video games together can bring...
Give us the Super Mac Bros. origin story! How did the show come to be?
D: Robby and I have known each other since grade 9. The first class we both ever had in high school had us introduced to each other and we kinda stuck! The idea for the show stemmed from the fact that we pretty much would do what we do on the show in discord or skype, just talking about video games and having fun. We discovered CFMU when walking around Clubsfest at McMaster in our 1st year. The worst that could’ve happened was our show was declined, the best would be that 2 years later, we’re still here.
We discovered CFMU when walking around clubsfest at McMaster in our 1st year. The worst that could’ve happened was our show was declined, the best would be that 2 years later, we’re still here.
The two of you have a natural back-and-forth together on-air that makes the podcast really fun to listen to. Where would you say that originates from?
R: Dario and I have known each other a long time, and the dynamic we have on the show is pretty similar to how we talk in general. We change it up a bit to fit radio better, of course, but I think we always just try to be our genuine selves on-air. We never wanted the show to sound too fabricated or anything like that. We just wanted it to be a relaxing, fun listen where you can maybe learn a thing or two about video games along the way.
Dario and I have known each other a long time, and the dynamic we have on the show is pretty similar to how we talk in general...I think we always just try to be our genuine selves on-air.
WATCH: Our feature video for Super Mac Bros.
What kind of influences inspire your hosting styles on-air?
D: Funny enough, when I was in high school, I did the TV announcements for the school for 4 years, so I've had lots of training at delivering news. It also stems from a past dream of wanting to be a news anchor and watching people like Philip Defranco and Roosterteeth on YouTube. Those would be inspirations for sure.
R: The style that I personally aim for on air is my natural way of speaking, just turned a little more professional. I draw a lot of inspiration from podcasts I listen to, mainly from places like Roosterteeth or MaxFun. Mixing that kind of style with Dario and I’s natural dynamic is what I find leads to results I enjoy the most.
What’s your favourite thing about hosting the show? Is there something you’ve accomplished that you’re particularly proud of?
D: My favourite thing about hosting the show would be doing it with one of my best friends, and being able to deliver gaming news to any of our viewers! We haven’t made any amazing accomplishments yet, but I think this year we’ll have some big stuff coming.
R: Of course, one of the best parts of the show is being able to do it with Dario, but other than that, I like how it keeps me on top of news in the video game world. I’ve discovered quite a few games and stories that I definitely would have missed had it not been for Super Mac Bros.
I’ve discovered quite a few games and stories that I definitely would have missed had it not been for Super Mac Bros.
Do you think hosting this show has helped you in other parts of your life? If it has, how?
R: I think doing the show has let me come out of my shell a little bit more. I was already pretty outgoing, but a little help never hurts. I used to kind of dislike the sound of my voice, but I’ve heard it enough at this point that I don’t mind it.
Has hosting the show impacted your future goals?
R: While I’m not sure that this will be a career path for me, I’ve had enough fun doing this show that it isn’t out of the question. It has definitely affirmed that I want to do something in which I can entertain people.
Do you have a message for your listeners?
D: To our listeners, however many of you are out there, thank you for any support you’ve given us!
R: Thank you for listening! This was just something Dario and I did to have some fun, and we’re very happy if we can bring you some entertainment through our ramblings and bad jokes.
Finally, what advice would you give to students interested in starting their own CFMU podcast?
D: 100000000% please go put an application in if you have a show idea! Even if it doesn’t get accepted, there's so many different things you can do at CFMU to get involved and no matter what you do, you’re gonna have a blast!
R: Make sure you really like whatever topic you want to do it on, you’ll be talking about it a LOT more. If you find that, I guarantee you’ll have an amazing time.
An amazing time you will have indeed! We have so many opportunities for volunteers to express themselves and share their passions here at CFMU, and it’s always a pleasure to hear from students like these two that are putting that to great use. I’m intrigued by this mention of big stuff coming this year, as well!
Video game lovers out there, don’t miss the Super Mac Bros. on-air Fridays 8:30-9:00 AM, or check out the podcast at their show page. Whether you’re an avid follower of the industry or just pick up Mario Kart occasionally, this is a down-to-earth podcast that’s both easy and fun to listen to.
And, of course, if you (and maybe a friend or two) have a great show idea for this coming school year, please drop us a new show application! We’re always excited to hear from potential hosts, and you never know where one little idea might take you.
That's all for this Volunteering @ CFMU. Next up: waiting for Breath of the Wild 2!