It’s our most important episode yet. Episode 4 begins with an introduction that deals with the tenor of the times. Then, the awesome DrLupo joins Talking Games With Reggie And Harold to talk about BLM, COVID-19, his charity work, and great games including Destiny, Fortnite and Animal Crossing. Then, CODE executive director Dan Goldenberg talks about helping veterans via the Call of Duty Endowment.
Poignantly, Reggie and Harold talk about the crossroads were are at in in the United States of American. After an impassioned plea to vote in the fall, Reggie and Harold read the quotes of some of our greatest leaders, everyone from Barack and Michelle Obama to Malcolm X to Shirley Chisholm to Ida B. Wells.
Yes, we will entertain you. But Reggie and Harold also want to challenge you at the end of the program.
SPEAKERS: Dan Goldenberg, Reggie Fils-Aime, Benjamin “Dr. Lupo” Lupo, Harold Goldberg
Welcome to Talking Games with Reggie and Harold. As always, we hope you’re well and staying safe during these turbulent times. You know, it’s true that Harold and I are here to entertain you with our stories across the world of entertainment and video games. And we’ll do that. But we’re at a crossroads in our country right now. COVID-19 has killed over 100,000 people. And I’m sure this pandemic has touched every listener in some way. 21 million people out of work through the end of May. And that number alone doesn’t tell the full story. As people have been able to find maybe part time jobs or jobs outside of their profession. We’re certainly not fully fully utilizing all of the people here in the United States. And George Floyd was brutally murdered by those we depend on to keep us safe. We’re in trouble. Right now. Here in the United States of America,
Our country’s seeing protests day into night, day after day. Here in New York City. The peaceful protests are strong and constant. They move from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. And when they aren’t stopped up the FDR drive near the East River, they moved from Foley square to Union Square to Trump Tower. They are joined by Terence Floyd who said, “I’m proud of the protests, but not the distraction. My brother was not about that.”
But the New York video game Critics Circle are kind of protest is a quieter one. But it’s no less important. We believe teaching, mentoring and giving back starts with our youth. We tell students that we’re mentoring them because there aren’t enough diverse voices in games. Black and Brown voices, female voices, voices across a range of experiences that taken together make the outcome better. We tell them, we’ll help them change them. We tell them, we’ll be there for them from high school through college. And then we’ll help them get their first job in the world of games or in journalism.
This is the way we change things on a grassroots level. This is the way we help. No, it’s not necessarily on the streets with thousands of others. It’s not retweeting others, that’s true. But we are deep inside the most underserved community in the United States, helping the most underserved young people in the country, helping homeless students in shelters. That’s why we ask you to go to NYGameCritics.com/Reggie and donate whatever you can. Just as you enjoy this podcast, you can help make a difference in this underserved community right now.
And now, today On this podcast, we welcome Dr. Lupo and Dan Goldenberg, from the Call of Duty Endowment. First, Dr. Lupo has been outspoken about the current state of affairs in our country, named one of Time Magazine’s top 25 most influential people on the internet in 2019. Benjamin Lupo is one of the most recognizable faces and voices. In the video game live streaming business.
Dr. Lupo uses his platform for impact and social good. In 2019, he hosted a 24 hour build against cancer charity livestream to benefit St. Jude. It raised a record breaking $2.3 million via donations from his community of dedicated supporters. And now, here’s our interview with Dr. Lupo
Dr. Lupo, Ben, I’m really excited to virtually meet you and to have this conversation.
Dr. Lupo 4:09
I appreciate you guys taking time to have me on on here. This is again, absolutely amazing to see somebody like yourself in person as it I guess at this point in time as in person as we can get, you know, Harold as well appreciate you guys seriously I know I feel like i can’t say it enough. But thank you so much for for having me on.
You’ve done such great work for a variety of charities, which we’ll get into later. But I want to start with the vocal support you’ve done on your stream and across your social platforms for Black Lives Matter. And your personal view on white privilege. What’s the message you’re trying to get across?
Dr. Lupo 4:49
That’s a heavy topic Reggie to go into off the off the bat which I actually I like that’s good because that means you’re not afraid to ask the difficult stuff and I’ve been on shows in the past that have been, you know, quiet about it. Obviously not this topic in a specifically but some people like to like to circumvent and I appreciate you being direct about it. So you’re right recently on Twitter and Twitch my social media channels that use the most I have discussed what’s going on because I largely feel I mean, I wholly feel as though the United States has, for quite a while. I mean, since before our inception been plagued by racism, systemic racism across the board in so many different facets of life in ways that people don’t even realize until it’s presented in front of them. It’s funny when I was talking on Twitch, there’s a clip that I think has almost 2 million views, or something like that on Twitter, from when I was on stream talking about it. I wrote stuff out and tried to record something so many times that it just didn’t feel didn’t feel correct and needed to be said exactly right to convey exactly how passionate I am about things like this. People have seen me do charity events in the past for St. Jude and National Fragile X Foundation and Make-a-Wish and I get really into those. Because something like that, on that side, when you’re dedicating what you do to a cause that really matters, it’s very emotionally draining. And still, it’s not as powerful as what these people, what black men and women have to deal with on a day to day basis, in a way that I said before. And I’ll say it again, I will never truly understand. And I recognize that I’m trying to do everything that I can to educate myself because one of the best things I feel like I can do, as an ally, to those people that are suffering, is try to learn as specifically as I can what they have to go through in life. I won’t ever have to deal with that. That’s incredibly unfair. No, nobody should have to deal with that. And so I’ve done everything that I can to try and and learn I’m going to continue to try and grow and educate myself about the day to day struggles of being a black person in the United States right now because it’s quite specifically, it’s horrible. The stuff that that people have to go through just because they’re black thing that they didn’t choose to be a thing that they were born and that’s who they are, and they still have to suffer for that choice. I it’s funny in those Twitter interactions, there’s actually a little back and forth I had with somebody. And I try not to not to respond to negativity. This one specifically was important because they said, ‘you, you obviously have never had to deal with anything like that.’ I went to a high school in Omaha that is predominantly black. I faced racial discrimination in a way growing up. And it was never ever a question of whether I had to fear for my life. No matter what I went through at that time, it still pales in comparison to what black men and women have to have to face. And so I feel like it’s my duty as now I try and learn everything that I can every single day to try and better the cause in every way that I can,
Ben, you’re so right. For those listening. It’s not enough to simply say you stand in solidarity against racism or oppression, you need to commit yourself to pushing for change. I believe to create substantive change. You need to diagnose the problems, you have to create systemic solutions to the problems. And then you need to track accountability for progress. The problems racism, a disadvantaged educational system for black and brown people, the lack of access to affordable and effective health care, and the lack of mentors and positive role models.
Dr. Lupo 8:10
Yeah, there’s a lot of layers to it. And it’s it’s definitely a problem I think people need to remember it’s a problem that’s going to take longer than a day longer than a week or a month or a year to resolve this is a an ongoing issue that needs to be worked on, and quite honestly should have been worked on at this scale for quite a long time. Obviously, no one wants violence. I don’t want to see anybody’s stuff destroyed. Nobody wants me that. What I want is changed for the better, ultimately resulting in everybody being on a level playing field. That’s the goal. And people I think they want to jump on board. They did this we did this blackout Tuesday thing, which I’m going to be quite honest with you. I had such a strong issue with that. I didn’t post anything that day. Because if the goal was to not clog up social media feeds with useless information at the time, then literally people spam posting the same black square is the exact opposite of what we should have been doing. The whole goal behind this. The reason for this is because people as a whole black men and women feel like they were not being heard. So why are we silent when they feel like they’re not being heard, we should be amplifying the signal for people, if my white privilege is that I have this massive reach on Twitter and Twitch and Instagram, because of who I am, I was able to get to that point easier, I should use that that signal strength to boost the voices of these people that feel like they’re not being heard. And so on Tuesday, I didn’t post anything anywhere. I still streamed but I talked about the issue from time to time. You don’t want to be overbearing to people that are there for all their different reasons, because there’s so many different facets of the viewership that want to be there to forget about issues and I mean, gaming is a thing that should bring people together for you know, a positive thing. It should be a distraction for some, there’s all sorts of things so you kind of have to you got to gotta be a little careful, but it’s still at my core, I wanted to talk about it, because you don’t want to let people just wash this away. You know? A week or two weeks, whatever my biggest fear is social media trends come and go. every single week, there’s a new thing. There’s a new trending topic, there’s new hashtags, there’s a new, whatever, and it’ll push away things that we just talked about. And my fear is that at the end of this week, next week, whatever, there’ll be a moment where suddenly something else happens. It is gonna push this topic, the side and then we’re gonna forget about it move on. I don’t want this to be a trend. This needs to be a long term fight for resolution so that black men and women do not feel like they’re being ignored.
I think you’re exactly right, Ben and Reggie, I mean, here in New York, the trends come and go almost as quickly as they do on social media. And the key is to get people involved over the long term. I think what we have to do is remember this five months from now, when we go to the polls. Remember what’s going on remember what’s gone on in the past four years and that’s how change comes about. I mean, that’s part of how change comes about. I mean, I hope the protests continue. But I also people go to the polls in November.
Dr. Lupo 11:10
There’s a speech from Killer Mike and specifically, he said, in November bully these people when you vote. That’s the way to fix this as you go and you are heard through voting, you can make changes all the way at the top all the way down. The end result should be trying to move forward trying to grow as a whole as the United States. You got to do that in the polls, man.
Gotta go to the polls. I think people are realizing certainly right now that they have power on a local level and that they can be the voices of change. You know, the people that we elect to office are there to talk to us you know, as as someone who runs not only the Critic Circle and but a small nonprofit. We do realize over the past couple of years that the policy politicians on the local level are there to serve us and they will be there, too. They have to be there to listen to our leaders and and that should be the case or everything. Some politicians get elected over and over again, this fix a these small infrastructure things, or for larger things that we’re protesting right now.
Dr. Lupo 12:19
One thing people need to remember to, especially in relation to protests, the people that are going out there and want to be heard, that are voicing their concerns that are on the lines in front of the police officers and the people that are those are the people that are maintaining peace, they’re not throwing rocks, they’re not destroying things, that kind of thing. There have been, man, I can’t count the number of videos I’ve seen of people trying to infiltrate those protests to try and cause problems specifically to make them look bad. You have to remember the people that are out there that are wanting change, are there for the right reason. They’re there. They’re not causing problems. They’re just in a position. They’re exercising their right to protest because they want to be heard. That’s it. That’s a tough one Reggie, you came out swinging, I’m just saying.
And and you know it As a journalist, we’re supposed to be flexible enough and able to pivot when things change. And that’s what’s happening now. So that’s why we’re asking these questions. But I mean, also I mean, we’re is still in the time of COVID-19 and beyond games you have made it one of your missions to give back to the community stringing for St. Jude, Make-a-Wish and alike and can you tell us how that began and why you began doing it.
Dr. Lupo 13:30
Okay, so the very first charity organization I raised money for on my twitch channel, the National Fragile X foundation back when I first started streaming Destiny, one on Xbox was the game that I was streaming, I actually streamed only Destiny one exclusively for maybe a year and a half to two years. And during one of those streams, I actually had a friend fly from London to Omaha to hang out for a little while for for a couple days over the weekend because he was he was just coming through United States so he stopped here and stayed with my wife and I. While he was here the day before he got there there was a guy that was in my chat This was when I only had maybe 100 hundred and 150 viewers something like that came in and he talked a bunch of trash as you know, sometimes people do most of the time. It’s light hearted. This guy was pretty, there’s a lot of animosity, maybe I’d beaten them in a game of Destiny or whatever. And so he bet me 100 bucks that he could beat me tomorrow and I went to bed a little frustrated, but when I woke up in the morning, I said to myself, you know what, I’m gonna whip this dude, I’m going to take that hundred dollars I’m not going to keep it because I feel like it’s it’s dirty money if it’s in my hands, but instead I’m gonna take that money I’m gonna give it to a charity is the first charity thing that I’ve ever done and so I told my stream that in the morning I did we this is like a no, no heads up kind of thing. It was it was spur of the moment. And when Chris my friend and I started that stream that day, we told people if you if you donate today, we’re going to give the money to the National Fragile X Foundation. We chose that because my wife’s brother Dale has something very similar to Fragile X, which is basically like a mix of autism and a bunch of other things. He’ll kind of always be a teenager, maybe You know, 10 to 12 mentally. And that then that’s just that’s who he is. I love Dale to death. I wouldn’t change it for the world. He’s hilarious, very funny, loves NASCAR loves watching game shows, man, you put a puzzle in front of this kid’s done in, you know, 10 minutes, no matter how many pieces that kind of thing, obviously, you know, it’s it’s crazy. He’s super, super smart. But that’s just who he is. That day we raised I think $10,000 for national Fragile X foundation. They were blown away by it so much so that they actually wanted to the chairman wanted to talk to me. And so we had a phone call with him on Skype and I streamed it. And we impromptu raised another $14,000 the day of that, and I surprised him on the phone with that donation as well. It was the whole thing was really it was a beautiful thing because I took something that was negative, and I turned it into a positive and that to me speaks volumes about what gaming and the gaming community is about. It’s about bringing people together to help those that are in need to help people that are fighting against some of the most horrible things in the world. That’s where the Make-a-Wish stream came from is I decided to do a 24 hour on on New Year’s Day. I was like, y’all have hangovers from New York tonight before you sit in your couch, you watch me play Destiny for 24 hours we’ll raise some money for Make-A-Wish Foundation we did $39,000 in 24 hours, which is really cool. But between the national Fragile X one and make a wish was my first Guardian Con charity marathon stream where that’s a week long event on Twitch where a bunch of different content creators take four hour blocks and stream raising money for St. Jude. This is my first interaction with St. Jude and I got the very sarcastically coveted midnight to 4am block. And now let me tell you that is a struggle in North America when everybody’s asleep. Yeah, so so that block we raised $4,000 and I was a little frustrated inside but I knew it was because the timing and everything. So they invited me back the next year to do it again. And the next year. My second year, we raised $67,000 in four hours. And with the growth of Fortnite and the community and everything, and people want to feel like they started to see that the passion that I had for making gaming a positive thing, no matter who you are, no matter your perception of what gaming as a whole is, what we’re trying to do is good. That third year we raised 360, some thousand dollars in four hours, it blew my mind. I couldn’t believe it. But then this last year, I was the anchor block the very last one, and in four and a half hours we raised $920,000. As of recording this we are 18 days away from my block of this year’s it starts in 11 days. I’m the very last block again this year on the 21st yourself and we can beat that. You never know the gaming community could surprise us in a huge way. It blew my mind that we did as much as we did before. Ultimately the goal though, is to raise money and help kids fight cancer especially at a time where the world can kind of look bleak to a lot of people. Being a beacon of hopefully good and try and be a lightning rod for positivity. That’s ultimately the goal. Because I want people to remember that gaming is a safe place for you. It’s a place where you can you can have fun. I’ve been playing Minecraft Dungeons with my son. He loves it. He He’s been playing and he he’s got an account on my wife’s Switch on her island for Animal Crossing. He’s got his own house. He did it’s it’s insane. The first time he pulled out the slingshot, she popped a balloon. Like it was nothing and he’s four and I’m like, Yes, let’s go. So I’m really excited for that. Honestly, when he’s when he’s old enough if he wants to do it, I’ve said the same thing a billion times my wife and I’ve talked about a bunch. If Charlie decides that he wants to be a streamer for a living and and he’s serious about it. And when the time comes he wants to put the energy in that’s required to grow a channel and do something with it while having like a you know, a backup a fallback just like I did. And so be it. You know it I’m never going to limit him to do one thing or another because I think it’s the right thing because man, if I had followed 100% and I love my parents to death, my dad’s not here anymore, but and I’ve told my mom this like, you know, as kids, you follow in their footsteps, right? You see what they’re doing, you try and you know, just naturally try to imitate to a certain point. And if I had not taken the jump with the help of my wife to go full time streaming, I would not be right here right now. You know what I mean? Like, it’s, it’s taking those risks that are important, and because I was dedicated to it, and it took it seriously, that’s why I’m here now. So if he’s in the same position, he says, dad I want to be a streamer, or maybe he wants to be a dancer, mate, you know, I don’t know. I don’t know what he wants to do. Right now. He’s four. He’s watching Inside Out on the couch with my wife on the living room. Whatever he wants to do, man, as long as he’s serious and he’s dedicated to it. I’m not gonna hold him back. There’s no reason for me to do that.
Have you brought him out to stream with you at home?
Dr. Lupo 19:41
He the first video that he was ever in, he’s so I mean, I’m in the basement of my house. So he’s one hallway away out there so he could cut he could literally actually come running in in the middle of this. I don’t know. Oh, I think he actually based on time should be in bed now. But he’ll come in here and say hi. He comes in whenever my wife brings me lunch the middle of the day or like refills my coffee or whatever. She is the best manager I’ve ever had my entire life by the way. But he’ll come in and people know him. I mean, a bunch of my emotes are his face and stream. My most viewed YouTube video is him sitting in my lap playing Fortnite with Tyler Blevins, Ninja, and it has way more views than anything else, because he’s all he does, like the whole video is just say hi, Ninja over and over and over again. He’s so cute man. He’s a part of the life, right? He’s a part of what we present to people because I want people to feel like they can relate to me and my wife and my family. You know, obviously there’s a layer between between me and everybody else if there wasn’t, you know, you’d have people that are overstepping their bounds, that kind of thing. But I want people to understand that I know what they have to deal with. When it comes to you know, maybe your kids not listening. I can relate, believe me. I think that’s important for people to be able to identify with us. That’s why I don’t have any issue with him coming in here in the middle of the day doing whatever I’m doing, if he wants to come in and say hi, I mean, absolutely.
You I mean certainly just just talking to I I kind of want to hear more, right? You have a good banter, a great personality. It’s, you know, you, we want to go on this adventure with you and, and, and hear what you have to say and listen to, you know, the foibles of your existence as well. We want to hear all those things. So I think it, you know, it is something it’s almost I mean, like a great DJ would have what you have as well, you can speak for folks who can’t communicate quite as well as you can.
Dr. Lupo 21:36
It’s funny, too. I never I think I took one speech class in college and I think that’s about it. I’d never had any formal training or anything like that. I think it’s just come from a buildup of experience over time talking to chat. It’s that back and forth. A certain level of rapport almost bedside manner that a doctor should have your or nurse should have not that anybody that’s watching or listening to me is in dire need of help. And I think certainly hope that you’re not. If you are, please seek said help. But that kind of back and forth is important to have, especially in an entertainment oriented career because people want to know that you’re listening. The best way to do that is being able to give thoughtful a well built responses to questions that they’re shooting at you and man, I get a lot of questions day in and day out all the way from what mouse are you using? And it’s the same mouse that I’ve used for a long time. To are you going to play this game? What do you have for breakfast this morning? What kind of coffee drinker today it’s, I get the full spectrum of things. And it’s actually kind of nice because it gives me the ability to recognize there’s a bunch of different facets of life that I don’t have experience with and kind of enjoy learning about.
Okay, so we’re going to get heavy again, Ben. We are in a true moment in history right now. I was in Los Angeles when Rodney King was beaten and for the resulting riots. I was in Manhattan on 9/11 when the World Trade Center was attacked and the towers fell. And here we are now in this time of a pandemic. In this time of protests and rioting, so project yourself into the future, five years, 10 years from now, maybe you’re trying to explain this time to your son? What would you say? How would you describe this moment in history?
Dr. Lupo 23:15
It’s funny, you should ask that a little project that I started doing about a year and a half ago is recording videos actually on this exact setup. Or, you know, as as it’s evolved over time, I’ve been recording videos for Charlie, when he is old enough to understand what I’m talking about. And I’ve done it about once a month, every month for a while just talking about what he’s like, and what maybe me and mommy are going through at the time or what the world is going through at the time, because right now, at four, there’s some issues that we could talk to him about, but he, he mostly just wants to be silly, right? He just wants to have fun and play games and go play outside in the sprinkler. What’s a little bit of what we did today, which is why I bring that up. But it’s it’s interesting that you should ask that because it’s kind of been a project that I I’ve done for myself and and for him when he’s old enough to understand like said, so four, five, ten years in the future, what do I What do I tell people about what’s going on right now in the world? And what do I how do I explain it to him for a while we went through as human beings, specially in the United States, a large period of lack of listening. Let me be very clear, we’ve gone through a period of not hearing each other for a long time, especially in relation to the voices of black men and women people of color as a whole. It got so deeply rooted that that we were ignoring outcries from people in regards to a sickness that had a has a very high mortality rate in comparison to anything else of its kind that we’re that we’re up against right now. I’m gonna be honest, I’m not super educated and then all the different Coronavirus types. But at a certain point, and if I’m saying this to my son, I say I at a certain point, something came up that originated supposedly from you know, the research that’s been done in China, that made its way through travel, air travel across the entire world, and a lot of places contained it. And a lot of places put these limitations on travel and being too close to each other and being in too larger groups. And for some reason here in the United States people didn’t want to listen. People held on to this holier than now mentality. There were interviews of kids at Spring Break in Florida saying, you know, if I get Corona, I get Corona and what they’re doing is not caring about the people that are susceptible to this. Yes, you’re young and you’re healthy. And yeah, it’ll be like a really bad flu, you’ll probably puke a lot and it’s gonna, it’s going to kind of suck for a little bit, but you’re going to be fine afterwards, but it’s about the people that are susceptible. My wife has Lyme disease. She has an acute bronchial spasm that causes her to cough consistently, especially when the air that she breathes in is cold, and she has mild asthma as of right now, having this conversation, I’ve seen a couple things about it, you know, COVID-19 Being potentially a blood vessel related illness, a lot of people thought they think that it has large implications, respiratory problems. If that’s the case, and my wife gets it, it could be devastating. And so I would tell Charlie that we — it’s funny, you should bring this up positive get little choked up talking about it. But for a while when things were really ramping up the very beginning, yelling, basically, in late February, early March, the United States. Nightly, I had to hug my son while he cried because he couldn’t go see his friends. He couldn’t go to daycare, he still doesn’t, because he didn’t understand why. And trying to have to explain those things to him and that the reason one of the issues is that people just for some reason I say, just didn’t want to listen. They started going and protesting wearing masks because it was uncomfortable. They started going to places and specifically going out of their way to cough on things in grocery stores and fight against this little bit of control that they were losing. And it Yeah, I’m not gonna lie to you. For some people, it’s become larger portion. have control and they and they feel like that is slipping away. And people can’t let go of that even though in the grand scheme of things, a couple months of being isolated versus killing off large portions of your population, maybe I’m pandering to fear or something. I don’t know, man. But when you look at it, these people ignore what’s going on. And so if I’m telling Charlie 10 years from now, I don’t know what the situation is going to look like. I wish I could I wish I could see in the future that sure would make a lot of life’s problems a lot easier. But I would tell him that way back then then 2020 for some reason, the world wasn’t listening to anybody else. And maybe it took a couple really awful things to happen to finally prod people into hearing each other. I hope 10 years from now, Reggie, Harold, I can be shaking your hands right now. I would much prefer that. That would be fantastic.
Amen. I was thinking about that tours thinking about like, you, you think about the macro things you think about the micro thing. It’s nice that you know, man, I miss hugging people. I miss, And I’m not the biggest hugger, the world man. But I mean, I miss shaking people’s hands. This like wood wood thing about, you know, being part of the human community that that I do miss and like we’re all like you’re you’re doing good things you’re trying help. We, Reggie and I are trying to help with our nonprofit and you support a variety of charities what we’re doing is trying to use the power of games to mentor young people, give them internships, give them scholarships, provide them some life skills as well, but and not to get preachy, but what would you say to others to encourage them to help
Dr. Lupo 28:40
If you’re on the fence about trying to decide whether you have the energy the means or or the drive to do something like this, take, take a big deep breath and try and disconnect yourself for just a second and put yourself in another person’s feet or another person’s shoes. It’s difficult to do. For some people, it could take years it could take their entire lifetime before you realize that there are so many different stories going on. There’s so many different experiences and every single person’s experience is different. And I’m never going to understand fully understand all of the emotions that happen in another person’s life. Good example, I had an opportunity to go to St. Jude. While I was there, my wife and I were getting a an individual tour away from the rest of the group. It was for the St. Jude play live summit, but they wanted to give us a different one because we had raised so much money and they wanted to show us firsthand what we were helping achieve and what we were, you know, helping do for people and we were so we were in in front of the admissions offices, St. Jude, where they bring the kids in and get, you know, get them assigned all the doctors and nurses that they’re going to be with during their time there during their treatment there. Maybe get them set up and with housing on campus, the target house, whatever it is, and while we’re having this conversation about where we are in the hospital, Jason, the guy that was given us the tour sees a mother pulling a wagon coming in and ask that we separate hallways for, sit on opposite sides of the hallway, she goes past and in that wagon there is a little girl curled up with an iPad because she had just gone through chemo treatment and she could not walk. The normal for that family in that moment was that mother pulling her child down the hallway in a wagon. And I looked at that, and it broke my heart because I I can’t. I know I fully can’t imagine. But looking at that what she was going through, I couldn’t fully feel that pain. I don’t I couldn’t fully understand it. But you could see it, you could see what she was doing. She was trying to be strong. And the fact that that was their normal was heartbreaking. I would encourage people to look at moments like that, take those and just look at the facts. Look at the emotion that you see in that moment. And try and feel that in your heart if you’re trying to decide whether or not it is a worthwhile cause to help. I’ve seen so many videos and I’m not even talking about ones that might be doctored and might be might be skewed one way or another. I’ve seen so many videos from the protesting that are black men and women trying to be heard and I know I can’t understand I can’t fully understand that pain I never will. I’ve accepted that. I’ve moved on to the point where how can I help those people be heard so that others can hopefully come to the same conclusion that I have, that I need to be an ally. And I need to do everything that I can to help those people grow.
It’s exactly right. I mean, we’re working with youth in a homeless shelter in the Bronx in New York City right now. And we heard the story where the city the Department of Education did not know this one young girl hadn’t been to school in a year. So they found that she didn’t and they went to the unit, the homeless in the homeless shelter and they knocked on the door and they found her in a corner, looking only at that corner and kind of not associating with anyone so they gathered some treatment they found out that the reason she was sitting in the corner that her father had abused her. And so that’s just you know, that is a complex situation of a homeless shelter. It’s not just that you’re homeless. There are many other things that are going on. And so once I heard that I said we are in as well. It’s a what people come here and they give up. I said, we’re not going to give up on you. We’re going to still be here. We’re not giving up. So we just started. We brought in Switches in games this particular week, Monday, and I think it was successful. I mean, that thing is where they’re also on a lockdown because of COVID here, so they can’t really go out they can’t play. So there are all these things that have complexities. And like you, we just want to help.
Dr. Lupo, Ben, thank you so much for this insightful conversation. This has been a great time speaking with you. I look forward to seeing you again this time face to face versus on screens and continuing the dialogue. Thank you so much.
Dr. Lupo 32:59
Absolutely. I The fact that you guys reached out to me in particular is and always will be absolutely mind blowing. Harold, Reggie, both of you. Thank you very much. And thank you for doing what you do with the platform that you have as well because I think people need to need a reminder every day that we are all part of the same human experience and we should all be trying to help each other out.
Thank you, man. Appreciate it. And thanks again for your time.
Reggie, what a great conversation with an awesome person. Now we want to stop for a minute and ask you to donate at NYGameCritics.com/Reggie, Mythical Games did it and we hope you can too. mythical games is a leader in the leisure economy, where gamers can earn money playing games. Take their upcoming Blankos Block Party for instance. It’s not Just that the characters are super inventive, like Alycia Blanko, blue jelly break character, in blancos, you’ll be able to create your own levels and characters and skins and make money for doing so. So thanks to mythical for your support, and check out NYGameCritics.com/Reggie to donate and to see our charity eBay auctions.
So say what you want about Call of Duty, but we’re not going to discuss the skyrocketing sales, the passionate fans or the occasional controversy around COD in this podcast. Instead, we’re discussing the Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit that’s committed to helping unemployed veterans find their way back to work. And since 2009, the endowment has placed over 69,000 veterans in jobs. And Activision Blizzard has donated over $38 million dollars to this nonprofit. With us as Dan Goldenberg. He’s the executive director of the Call of Duty endowment or CODE for short. Dan, welcome to Talking Games with Reggie and Harold. Great to have you on.
Dan Goldenberg 35:04
Thanks so much, guys really appreciate you having me. .
Absolutely. So why don’t we start at the beginning, you know, how did the endowment begin?
Dan Goldenberg 35:12
Yeah, so the garage story for the endowment is back in 2007. Bobby Kotick, who’s obviously the CEO of Activision Blizzard and is very passionate about the arts. He’s on the board of LACMA, or big art museum here in LA, had approached the then secretary of the Veterans Administration, Jim Nicholson, and said, ‘Hey, Jim, love to talk to you about creating an art facility for veterans on the West LA VA campus.’ And Jim is definitely a straight talker and he said, Bobby, I don’t know if you’ve been reading the news, but veterans don’t need expletive free art. They need jobs. I think a lot of people would have been turned off by that. But Bobby wasn’t and you know, he’s kind of the quintessential entrepreneur, and he said, d’hmm what can we do about that?’ And he spent the next year and a half or so figuring that out with his team at the time. And they decided in 2009 to launch the Call of Duty Endowment. So we’re coming up on our 10 year anniversary here, thinking that the programs that are already in place by the government in the nonprofit world in the corporate world just weren’t working. Veteran, unemployment was sky high. And we had an enormous number of vets coming home from combat theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan in the Horn of Africa. So that was, you know, the, the sort of founding story and I think the ethos behind it was, you know, Call of Duty is super important franchise for Activision Blizzard. And it was then and continues today to be inspired by the military and and those within it. This was a really sensible way. The team thought at the time to give back the sort of operating principle was take the approach to the business that the company has, which is something called narrow and deep. Try and focus on one thing or just a couple things. And go really deep understand them, and therefore be able to have a really big impact. So that was the principal. And about that a little more than three years into it. The executive team had done a great job building the bones of the organization raising money, but they were frustrated with not having found real impact, not being able to sort of navigate effectively the landscape of nonprofits in the space and show real social impact real, you know, moving the dial in terms of placing veterans. So in the first four years, the endowment placed about 1000 veterans and the jobs. And one of the reasons I was brought in in 2013, was to help figure that out, it turns out at the time, there were more than 40,000 veteran nonprofits in the space, which is kind of staggering. Today, that number is even bigger. They’re 68,000. Last time I checked. And so the problem is, while most of them are well intentioned, there’s some bad actors out there, but not many, very, very few of them have real impact. So it’s really about finding the needles in the haystack. My principal job when I came in, was to find those high performers, fund them help them grow, and therefore have a lot bigger impact.
Dan, I know the endowment is quite large, and many folks are involved. But are there any individual stories you can share that have really moved you along the way?
Dan Goldenberg 38:17
Yeah. So I can give sort of internal and external stories if that’s helpful. So, you know, internally, and I think people are surprised by this when they asked me about it, but one of the things I’m the most proud of, is just how the team at the company has just rallied around this cause. A couple years ago, a person on the employee comms team came to me and he said, ‘hey, can you give me a couple examples of folks who really helped out the endowment?’ I said, Okay, I’m a pretty analytical person. So I sat back and I compiled a list of everyone who’d made a substantive contribution to the endowment. I sent it over to him, and he contacted me back immediately. Like, Dan, ‘I was looking for two or three names, not eighty.’ And that’s literally what I gave up. They were about 80 different people. But from across the company who had made, you know, really in every function, the devs, of course, but legal supply chain PR, you know, those who work with our talent all across the board and surprising places finance, internal audit. And so I’m super proud of that. And that has continued today plays across the company are super passionate about that. Externally, you know, I think it’s a number of things. It’s, the numbers are big, but it’s easy, and I think is part of the way where your question is going is like, it’s easy to get caught up in the number and forget, under each one of those numbers, there’s a story. And it’s not just about, you know, helping a veteran find a good job, but it’s in many ways, liberating them from the stresses of post service and being able to provide for themselves or their families. And if they can’t do that, there’s a mountain of evidence that shows other bad things can happen, people get depressed and depression can cause people to go to dark places. So when we’re able to hear and we get from every one of our grantees, we get three or four stories, every quarter about veterans who this has moved the dial for we’ve done a couple videos on them. But there was a sergeant out of Georgia, that comes to mind who was an infantry man who had been wounded in Afghanistan. And he loved the army. He saw himself doing infantry, the rest of his life, but he viewed himself as just the door kicker, as we hear from a lot of infantry folks. And, you know, it really took the intervention of one of our nonprofits that we find Still Serving Veterans to talk him through that and say, Well, hold on, let’s talk about what you did. And you know, when you start getting them to unpack what they did as, say, a junior noncommissioned officer in the army, leading other soldiers in tough situations, having all kinds of multicultural interactions, overseas, limited resources, high stress, unclear objectives, and dealing with all this, those start to be things that can really carry over to civilian life. So To make a long story short, they build this confidence up. It’s incredible. You have these incredibly confident warriors. And oftentimes this confidence is just shattered when they leave the military and face the civilian job market. So a lot of that’s about making them see, you know, your what you have is, it might not seem obvious, but is actually valuable. You just have to learn how to talk about it and communicate it to employers. So they help them connect with this passion, which was he was tinkerer, he loved working with computers, and they taught him a skill. Basically, IT helped us kind of skill. And he picked it up immediately. The cool thing about that was he did really well, so well that he was rapidly promoted to being a manager, which is something he already knew how to do. Right? So they taught him on the technical side that married up with his management side, and now he’s out there hiring other veterans. So it’s, it’s a really kind of heartwarming story. But it shows the value of how if we can just connect them with the right kind of counseling services, we can help them be successful. And after that, you know, they’re they’re productive member the economy and they can in turn that around help others we know 95% of post 9/11 service members want to continue serving in their communities when they leave the military. So if you can help them, you know, maintain the living they need to get by, they’re going to turn around and give back and a lot of different ways. So that’s, that’s really cool to me as well.
You know, Dan, you said something that really hit me when you talk about all of these different charitable organizations that are trying to help veterans, but it’s finding the proverbial needle in a haystack to the ones that are really being effective. So in many ways, you’re you’re acting like a venture capitalist, right? You’re taking the, you’re taking the endowment and putting it into these particular organizations that are doing a really good job. Just talk a little bit about that.
Dan Goldenberg 42:46
It’s funny when I came in, and Bobby said, you know, you’re gonna spend probably 80% of your time figuring out this landscape and trying to find the good performers and working with them. And that was true for about the first six months until we enacted. This model to actually find them. But I refer to that model. It’s so funny, you’re the first person ever mentioned this as kind of a light venture philanthropy model. So it’s that’s exactly what it is right? Because you have a huge funnel of possible investment targets, right, or partners, and you got to win them down to the ones that are likely to be most successful. So we created a process is totally not rocket science. We create an open application, it’s a page and a quarter. It’s very focused on metrics around, you know, how many vets did you place what was the cost per placement? And most importantly, what was the quality of the placement? So what is the average starting salary? What is six month and 12 month retention rates? And are these full time or part time jobs? Because something gets lost in all the conversations about the economy, folks just default to the BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment number, and they don’t unpack it at all. And unfortunately, that number literally is based off one question. And that question is last week were you paid for work so if you You cut your neighbor’s lawn for 25 bucks. The federal government counts us fully employed, if you’re a 10 hour week, barista, fully employed, that’s not a living. And so quality really, really matters. So that was a huge part of our vetting. We created this model. We asked Deloitte to take a look at the model and validate it for us. They did. And then they came back to us and said, How about we help you implement it? And so they’ve been an incredible partner for seven years pro bono, you know, literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of free assessment work from from their auditors in finding these organizations. And it worked because once we implemented it, it was kind of a hockey stick moment for the endowment. So remember, I said the first four years 1000 placements, so the next six years 68,000 placements and the cost per placement was, as of last year was just under $500 $499? You know, is that good? Well, compared to the federal government, it’s really good. The Federal Government’s average cost per placements, just under 30 $100. And again, it’s not just about cost. The lower the cost, the more vets we can help but it’s also very much about the quality. We keep our eye focused on that too, because underemployment before this pandemic underemployment was in my opinion, the employment issue.
The Call of Duty Fearless Pack was released about two weeks ago. What comments have you gotten from fans? And do all the proceeds go to CODE? How much has been raised so far?
Dan Goldenberg 45:21
Yeah, we’re so so excited about this. It’s been a stupendous success where we’re thrilled with first of all, the partnership with Flo Groberg young Medal of Honor recipient Flo has an amazing story on so many levels. First of all, you know, this is what a great immigrant made good story right? So Flo was born and raised in France and was adopted by an American came over here. His adopted father promised them McDonald’s whenever he wanted it if he moved to the US, and I think is a 13 or 14 year old, and his refuge at that time. You can imagine at that age, how hard it is to move over here was video games. So he’s been a gamer his whole life. And it just so happens Call of Duty’s a very important game to him. I didn’t we didn’t know this early on, but it’s something he mentioned to us. So you’ve got this guy’s got a great story. He’s obviously I don’t throw this word around much. But if you read his story, he is, in my mind a true true hero. And oh, by the way, happens to in his spare time, because he’s got a very busy corporate job is a huge advocate for better employment. And oh, by the way, happens to love playing Call of Duty. So it just seemed like the perfect combination of someone to partner with. And he’s been an incredible partner. We wanted to tell his story. And we thought because it was the love of the game, he’d also be able to connect with our players. And that’s been the case. We never asked Flo to do this, but if you look at his social feed, he was literally after the pack lunch. You know, people were asking him questions and he just weighed in there and talked with the COD community. We’re reaching out to him and he walks the walk because he’s an avid player. It’s how he stays in touch with his buddies, battle buddies. His best friend from the army is out on the east coast. And that’s how they stay together by playing COD. So it’s just a really, really cool story. And we didn’t know about how that COD was so important to him as a connection with with his, you know, fellow soldiers, until we invited him last month to speak to the company. We did our first virtual. We have the series called Activisionaries. And so we had our first virtual whenever even though the series has been running for years and years and years, it was the most popular one we’ve ever had. And when Flo told that story, the emails just came raining in from our employees like, wow, this gives more meaning to my work knowing that I’m helping connect him with with those who served with so that’s been cool. sentiment from the community has been outstanding. We know the COD community really has always gotten behind this cause it’s something important. The community makes sense with what we do. It’s been very global. So the response globally continues to be very positive. Our goal was $3 million and I can say we are well on our way. Way to achieve it that so not quite there yet, but it’s it’s surpassed our expert expectations so far. So 100% of the funds raised goes directly to putting vets in jobs 100%. And the reason for that is because Activision Blizzard pays all of the endowments operating costs. So at literally every cent we raise goes directly back to those nonprofits that we fund and evaluate and continue to support.
So, Dan, we we can’t ignore the times. You worked with a former Secretary of Defense General James Mattis. So what was your reaction to the recent statements about President Trump and the protests that he made? And also, Trump suggested that he would call up troops and bring them to cities dealing with the protests? Where do you where does CODE stand on these types of issues?
Dan Goldenberg 48:55
Look, we’re living truly I you know, a month ago, we were saying we’re living In unprecedented times, and it’s two times that now, right at least, these are very difficult times for everyone. We’re very proud to have worked with General Mattis, excuse me, Secretary Mattis. He’s an incredible articulate American. So I’ll let his statements speak for itself. But we remain continued to be proud of that association with Secretary Mattis, you know, because these times are really tough. We know that hard economic times always fall harder on veterans. Veterans are also a very diverse group. They truly, truly are representative of America, especially the enlisted ranks. And, you know, we understand that these circumstances, both COVID and the employment ramifications of that, and the racial injustice we see hits veterans of color hard. So we continue to be there for them. We think one of the best ways we can show our support is through economic empowerment. We’ve always believed that. I will tell you just as a just because I have data on this I don’t have racial data, we just have gender data. But one of the things we’ve been watching for years, especially you can imagine coming as this is something coming from the gaming and tech industry. We’ve watched how our women vets do. And it’s something we’ve monitored very closely and a number of years ago, we have 12 organizations we currently fund. And we noticed that some of them were really over performing and helping women veterans succeed, and some are not. So women make about 16% of the force right now, and about 10% of the veteran population. And so we’d like to see as a minimum, we’re tracking similarly against that, right? We want to make sure that we’re at least helping the same percentage we see in the force. And so two of organizations were over performing and the rest were either on average or underperforming. So we really talked with them and said, What are you doing differently, that everyone else isn’t doing this working and we’ve kind of distilled those items and we got them to teach that to our other partners. It’s another way we have To value and I was thrilled to see the next quarter and every quarter since then, we are now over performing helping women veterans get jobs. And what I love about these organizations is they really they’re all I think it’s a common trait, you know, remember we defined the needles in the haystack is they’re very data driven and what they do, and and they’re very committed to constant improvement. So one of these organizations say hire heroes, USA, even though they were a top performer, they went back and they said, you know, we got further into date, and we were actually kind of disturbed because we saw that women veterans are actually that were placing or making on average, 20% less than male veterans. We don’t know why, but we’re gonna find out we’re gonna try and do something about it. So we work with them to create the special women empowerment, workshop, women, veteran empowerment workshops, and we’ve seen some really great results from that. We also have a better understanding now why women veterans weren’t, you know, getting the same salary levels you’d expect? You know, it’s that 80 cents on the dollar thing we’ve been hearing for years and then we saw it actually come to life with the veterans we were trying to help. So, you know, the bottom line is like we’re focused, we continue to be focused on the our work is a tool for empowerment of our veterans,
and what is a good solution for employing vets? As the pandemic hopefully wanes, and we have a vaccine should a new Works Progress. Should a new Works Progress Administration be instituted across the country?
Dan Goldenberg 52:23
Yeah, I you know, it’s a boy, no one’s ever asked me that before. But I think it’s a great question. You know, we’re all we’re all hoping for, I think what they call V shaped recovery, right? Playing amateur economist, I think what’s gonna happen is gonna be really lumpy. I don’t know where exactly it’s going to be. It’s really hard to see a world where air travel comes back 100% to the way it was. And then there’s all the cascading effects effects on that. So where will government intervention be needed? Where’s the private sector going to be needed? We don’t know. And I’ve talked with all of our grantees, every one of them in the last month about this actually, the good news is they’re seeing After this huge, huge dip, I mean, I’m talking about a half 50% dip in the opportunities that are tracking, they’re seeing that comeback, which is great. So, you know, right now, you know, they’re concerned. But there’s still enough there seem to be enough opportunities. But we also have a lot more veterans asking for help. The federal government is absolutely overwhelmed with requests. They’re doing the best they can, the Department of Labor and their programs, but they need help. And they’ve, they’ve asked for it. And we’re trying to provide that our grantees have told us in the last week compared march of 2019, to march of 2020. 50% increase in demand in terms of vets asking for help. So they’re they’re pretty overwhelmed. Not sure what the opportunities are going to be. But one of the things is, we definitely believe there’s value in investing in training, training for what you know, I call high quality jobs we used to say 21st century jobs, but I think that’s misleading because you know that that gives you the impression of somebody working at a computer on artificial intel development. You know what’s a 21st century job? A plumber, a plumber is a 21st century job, because you can’t offshore it, you’re always gonna need them, they pay well, you know, if you want, you can run your own business that way or you can, you know, be part of a construction firm. So, you know, we we support efforts to train people to give them these opportunities, I don’t think I think we have to be more smart about what those opportunities are. And I think we have to direct veterans to say, look at what just happened could happen again, you know, as part of your assessment about what’s next you have to take a look at how did the companies respond to this, you know, what is the show about their culture? And what does it show about industries? You know, is this a place where you can feel like you have job security in the future?
So should a new Works Progress Administration be instituted? Do you think that’s something that will be of use?
Dan Goldenberg 54:49
Yeah, I’m skeptical of the government’s ability to carry that off. In this day and age, I still feel like the private sector is a much more efficient job creator. Government definitely has a role to play Especially on the training side, especially with what we call high barrier to employment, veterans, those who might be homeless, or have other, you know, health or medical or mental or physical health challenges, you know, because it’s, we help all those veterans, you know, it takes a lot more kind of hands on help for vets with big challenges, but we’re committed to helping them as well. But the government can really, really play a role there. I’m skeptical about sort of make work government programs, you know, they’re just not sustainable. I think the private sector is just you know, the American private sector is the best job creator the world’s ever seen. I will say this, though, you know, you bring up a question of, or at least in my mind of market inefficiency. So, let me give you an example. Four of the top six unemployed, military occupational specialties, are ones that in this time of crisis we could really use. So believe it or not, the number one most often employed MOS coming out of the military logistics, which equals in civilian speak, supply chain number one in that top six. You also have truck drivers. You also have medics, which is kind of shocking, right? We also have mechanics those are four I think the four and you know, these are all specialties where you kind of scratch your head. It. It bothers me to no end. If you look at the mercy and the comfort coming in New York and LA, and the cities in the medical communities are embracing these med these corpsman hospital Navy Hospital Corpsman. So these are the Navy’s versions of medics to serve anybody in the population right there. They’re happy to let them serve anyway. The second that medical corpsman takes off their uniform. They have no standing in the civilian medical community zero. can’t ride in the back of an ambulance can’t be an aide at a nursing home. Nothing. That’s crazy. And we know for a fact that 50% of the medics or corpsman who want to work in the medical community after they leave the military can’t find jobs there. That’s kind of staggering. We hear Governor Cuomo and we hear governor Newsom saying I need an army of public health workers and they’re talking about being retired. And other people who by the way are in high risk populations to serve. No mention of working with veterans, no mention mentioned about clearing up the red tape to get them the certifications they need. So if government’s going to focus on jobs programs, I say start with that start. I say start with saying what are our needs? And what are the the artificial barriers we put up? It’s crazy. Every medical corpsman in the US military should automatically be able to be an EMT. They are far over qualified to be an EMT, but or at least be allowed to take a test immediately to get the certification that would help our country that would help them. That doesn’t exist right now. That’s where I’d like to see government focus.
So my last question actually pushes on this, Dan, but let’s take it out of the the government space and put it in the context of private industry. One of the things that that I saw throughout my career was at times bias against our veterans. Right? And, and to the point you’re making, these are people who are super qualified. They’ve risked their lives on behalf of our country. And yet, when they come back and they apply for a job, at times there’s a bias against them given their their veteran status. I mean, how do you how can we, from a societal standpoint, look to address that bias?
Dan Goldenberg 58:28
Yeah, you know, look, it’s I look at the veteran employment problem in general, as a market inefficiency, there’s a disconnect between supply and demand. And there’s a lot of reasons for that. So the supply is the supply of job ready veterans, the demand is companies that want to hire them. And I think there’s structural changes that have to be fixed on both sides. You know, veterans have to know welcome to capitalism. Nobody owes you a job. You have to work for it. You have to market yourself. We’re here to help you do that effectively. That’s a super important message that’s still in there transit. As the military is still not being effectively communicated, it seems like gets a little better every year. But the Transition Assistance Program, essentially, it’s 100 soldiers or Marines in a classroom, getting PowerPoint slides pushed at them by a contractor for a week, that doesn’t prepare you individually. And by the way, you could have a GED holder, who’s an infantry men in the same room as a Navy Lieutenant Commander with a master’s degree in nuclear physics, and they’re getting the same transition program, you know, different needs for different folks needs to be customized. And there’s challenges like we talked about, around translating skills around veterans having confidence, all that kind of stuff. But you’re very right to point out prejudice, you know, or I guess, the term that today’s uses implicit bias, right? There’s assumptions you make about military folks. I knew a seal this is going back, I don’t know better part of 20 years ago, I went through business school with and he was interviewing with a brilliant guy combat vet was interviewing with a prominent world class man management consulting firm by interviewed by someone who’s probably three or four years younger than him, asking him first question, what was it like to kill someone? You know, staggering, right? Like you that I mean, it’s in the civilian context, you would never ask someone in a job interview something so deeply personal. But you know, there’s still some of that out there. There’s also this really false concern about PTSD and, you know, and and violence in the workplace. There’s no evidence that shows veterans exhibit any more violence in the workplace than non veterans. In fact, the last data I saw is that there’s five times more non veterans who have PTSD than veterans because PTSD, there’s a certain percentage of the population it’s just biologically more subset susceptible to it, but you can get it you don’t need to be in combat to PTSD. Someone who’s been sexually assaulted, mugged, had a loved one die next to them, been in a car wreck. They could have it, but we don’t. You know, we don’t ask people about their mental health situation. In that regard. We interview them. They have problems as an employee, we help them we, we, you know, turn them towards their employee assistance program. So, you know, it’s a false concern. I know a Marine who went to speak at a large globally known investment banking firm, and to a roomful of bankers in New York. And the first question in the room of the day was, hey, love to hire more vets. But to be honest with you, I’m really concerned one of them is going to go postal on us. He looked him in the eye. And he said, I’m glad you raised that point. Let me ask you, how many of you were here on 9/11? Any of you, you know, maybe nervous about going up in a building, maybe lose some sleep, maybe occasionally get distracted? Are you bad bankers, if you do, and that for them was sort of an aha moment. And I think that’s the kind of attitude we have to convey. We have to have conversations about it. I think, you know, hiring managers need to be more comfortable talking to veterans and veterans have to put them at better ease. And so I think we need to tell what we did. We tell veterans look, you have to make yourself relatable. You have to loosen up and relax and be likeable and interview. And I think, you know, we have to get employers not to ask stupid questions and sort of leave their bias at the door. We find in general, when veterans are, get into the interview, they do pretty well. The harder problem is actually probably getting that resume which is going to look different, acceptable so they can get the interview. If they’re qualified. I would never suggest anyone to hire a veteran who isn’t minimally qualified for a job.
That’s great. Dan, this has been a great conversation. We could I could probably go on for another half hour, but I don’t think that’s a that’s going to work. But this is, this has been a great conversation.
Dan Goldenberg 1:02:40
Oh, thanks for you. Thanks, Harold. I really appreciate it. Stay well, and thank you for the opportunity to talk about our work.
And now Reggie, we have a question from A donor, his name is Joe Genta. What has been the most rewarding experience during your time in the game world Reggie?
You know, over the course of over 15 years, I’ve had many memorable moments with Nintendo. And you can find all the launches the presentations to talk show episodes and the memes online. But the most personally touching and rewarding experience is when I accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from Mr. Sotoru Iwata and delivered a speech at the dice awards in early 2016. Now, most people have seen the speech I delivered for Mr. Iwata at the Game Awards in December of 2015. But the DICE speech was much more personal. I talked about what Mr. Iwata meant to me as a boss, a mentor and a friend. And how he always put himself second, he would he would put other people first. It was a difficult and emotional speech and an experience I’ll never forget the five year anniversary of Mr. Iwata’s passing will be this July. But I continue to think about him almost every day. Usually at the end of our podcast, we thank our hard working staff of volunteers and their regular jobs, mostly in the media, that are going at an incredible pace right now. But they choose to invest their time and our effort. So this week, we’re going to give them a group thank you. And in addition, we’re going to give a challenge to you, the listener to get involved to get involved by registering to vote. To get involved by learning about your leaders at every level of public service. know them, determine if they share your values and share the same priorities you have. invest your time and getting involved in your community. If my words don’t inspire you, maybe these quotes from some of our greatest leaders will. President Barack Obama said, Remember that this country was founded on protest. It’s called the American Revolution.
First Lady Michelle Obama said, don’t be afraid, be focused, be determined, be hopeful, be empowered. Representative John Lewis from Georgia said, We are tired of being beaten up by policemen. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jails over and over again. And then you holla Be patient. How long can we be patient.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Malcolm X said, You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
Ta-Nehisi Coates said racism is not merely a simplistic hatred, it is more often broad sympathy towards some and broader skepticism toward others.
Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil and women’s rights icon said, sometimes it seems like to tell the truth today is to run the risk of being killed.
Ida B. Wells, another early civil rights and women’s rights leader said one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap.
Nelson Mandela, who I had the profound opportunity to meet said a nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
Representative Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress said, if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, for it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
Margaret Mead, the famed cultural anthropologist said, Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Pope Paul the sixth said, if you want peace, work for justice.
Representative Adam Cliburn from South Carolina said, this country is at a crossroad. And if we don’t choose wisely, between now and the end of the year, I think we’ll see the demise of the greatest democracy ever on Earth. Folks, take action and make sure our great experiment continues. We’ll see you next week.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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