Listening to episode 13 of the Welcome to Nightvale podcast, I couldn’t help but compare it to audiobooks. I’ve recently started listening to audiobooks and there are many similarities that I picked out between the audiobooks and Nightvale. First, we are obviously listening to a story, a work of fiction. Then there is the use of different voices for different characters and finally the use of music or other audio clips to enhance the experience. Not all audiobooks do this, but then again not all podcasts do either.
I’d never listened to this type of podcast before, only the “chat cast” type. I thoroughly enjoyed the all-encompassing experience. From the cleverly weaved in world-building to the use of audio to create a more fleshed out canvas for the story. I wasn’t just a one-dimensional podcast, it truly felt like an experience. According to this week’s reading, people lined up in 2014 to hear live performances of Nightvale and I can understand why.
The podcast understands its relationship to the listeners. In episode 13, it addresses the listener directly as the protagonist of the story. It blurs the line between fiction and reality by inviting the listener to enter the world of Nightvale. Plus, the mise en abyme of the radiocast narration being present within the plot just adds layers upon layers. I would say that the podcast is definitely a literary work as it uses literary techniques, remains aware of its audience at all times, and expands on a fictional world.