Leveling Up with Jon Wolheim & The Magic of Incremental Goals

Jons Site
Games for Love
Freename

In this episode, we’re thrilled to have Jon Wolheim, a renowned figure in the gaming industry with experience at Apple, Amazon, and as an advisor for Games for Love, share his insights. Jon discusses the transformative power of gaming, strategies for engagement on LinkedIn, and the importance of community and collaboration in the industry.

We also delve into the science behind setting and achieving incremental goals. Whether it’s collecting acorns for the arch Druid or walking five miles in a week, we explore how breaking down larger objectives into smaller, achievable steps can significantly boost motivation. This process taps into the brain’s reward system, involving key chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, to make each achievement feel rewarding.

Jon and Greg
Jon and Greg

The episode further highlights the impactful role of gaming in providing an escape and therapeutic benefits for children in hospitals. Through initiatives like Games for Love, gaming becomes a tool for healing, offering children a chance to connect, find joy, and even aid in their recovery process.

Join us and Jon Wolheim on the Player Engage Podcast as we explore the intersections of gaming, motivation, and the power of community. This episode is packed with valuable insights, industry trends, and the neuroscience of gaming, making it a must-listen for anyone interested in the impact of gaming beyond entertainment.

AI Transcript

Intro: 00:00: 00:15: Welcome to the Player Engage podcast, where we dive into the biggest challenges, technologies, trends, and best practices for creating unforgettable player experiences. Player Engage is brought to you as a collaboration between Keyword Studios and Helpshift. Here is your host, Greg Posner.


Greg Posner: 00:16: 00:52: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Player Engage Podcast. Today, we are joined by Jon Wolheim, who has a myriad of titles associated with his name, but let’s start in the beginning. He worked for companies such as REI. We had to jump to a little company called Apple, where he spent about almost eight years there. Amazon. And now he works or is an advisor for a company called Games for Love, as well as he’s a top voice in AI and gaming on LinkedIn. He’s a wealth of knowledge, talks to tons of people, and we are excited and honored to be talking to him today. So John, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. Is there anything you’d like to say about yourself?

Jon Wolheim: 00:52: 01:02: You forgot my real title, which is Chief Schmuck Officer Who Talks Too Much, who’s vice president of being a windbag. So I’m excited to demonstrate that here with you today, Craig.

Greg Posner: 01:03: 01:16: Well, it’s great. I actually don’t love talking up until college. I was a very quiet person and something changed, but I’m a great listener. So so we can kick it off and kind of just start in the beginning. Right. Let’s start with some simple questions. Like what’s the last game you played?

Jon Wolheim: 01:16: 02:02: Oh, man. So I am playing. So in addition to World of Warcraft retail, which it’s almost like admitting, yes, my name is John and I play World of Warcraft as powerfully addictive as that game is. The current iteration, Dragon Flight 10.2 is So good. And anybody who isn’t playing and hasn’t for a while, this is me telling you, get back in now. It is so good. At BlizzCon, when they announced the three expansions, I had the incredible fortune to be in that audience. And that was the moment it was back on for me. And then I’m playing a game on mobile called Farlight 84, which is made by Lilla Studios, which is, it’s sort of a survival, PUBG, Fortnite-esque, but it’s all jet pack mobility-based. It’s really well done. Really well done.

Greg Posner: 02:02: 02:46: I’ll have to check that out. I currently don’t have any mobile games in my lineup, so I got to check out what’s out there and play some new stuff and get some fresh blood in there. Yeah. So let’s talk about how Jon gets into gaming, right? When you look at your background, what I see is REI, which everyone loves. You’re from California. I feel like everyone in California is outdoorsy and has to do that stuff. You jumped to Apple a little few years after the iPhone, so probably still in a peak time of Apple. You do a lot at Apple. I usually save this question for a little later into the podcast, but let’s start in the beginning of Little John. Little John, that’s a good one. John, growing up, what brought you into gaming? Did you dream of working in gaming or did you just happen to fall into it?

Jon Wolheim: 02:46: 06:31: Oh man, there’s so many layers to that delicious tiramisu of a question, Greg. So first, Little John is… Okay, I had to do it the second you said a little nailed it. Perfect. So little john was not very little. I was actually a strangely large kid. I was six foot two in sixth grade. And I was this. That’s how tall I am now like pretty much peaked out right then and there probably because I started drinking Dr. Pepper and eating Twinkies for like most of my nutrition for a good sustained few years after that, which led to little john. particularly not little in high school. I actually weighed more than 350 pounds in high school. So like yourself, introverted would barely even begin to describe me in my first couple of years of high school before I decided to make some changes that for me in my individual choices resulted in me feeling better in a variety of ways. But let’s go back to further behind to answer your question of why games or how did I get into games. So my dad was a long haul coast to coast trucker, and he moved people’s household goods from one part of the United States to another part of the United States. And so I got to grow up moving people’s houses with him. And so that meant A travel, and I got to be in every single state, uh, before I was 10 years old, which was really, really cool. Um, I got to see every single national monument of note, but most notably, I got to meet really amazing people and spend a lot of time in. Truck stops, which are a weird part of this world. If you’ve ever been to a truck stop, most people listening here, if your family wasn’t in logistics. You probably had to pull over on a long drive and had this huge center. You walked into this place and it was like a mall almost with a big restaurant in it. These are truck stops. This is where truck drivers would usually park and sleep in their trucks overnight to save money on hotels and to really just not have to stop and keep going. These places always had arcades. And so I would work in the truck with my dad and he would pay me. And I would take that money and turn it into quarters and I would play arcades all throughout the United States. And so I grew up with the sound of pinball, Jurassic Park, pinball, Terminator 2, Adam’s family. If you remember, that’s the sound when you get the replay, that was the soundtrack of my childhood. And so that transitioned into consoles as I got a little bit older and actually started making a little bit more money in the truck with my dad and I could actually buy a Nintendo. And then it just kind of went from there, kept playing, kept playing. And that evolved over time. Fast forward way down the road, that love of games led me to build PCs so I could play StarCraft competitively. And that love of technology led me to consistently be that person who was always trying to push the edge with tech, which is one of the things I’m most excited to talk about here on this call, which is jobs and games and why Being a gamer is a huge competitive advantage when you, when you let it be. Um, but it was for me in that, in that sense, when I was at REI. The iPhone had come out, the iPad had just come out and I’m out here always talking about how do we use this tech and REI is a wonderful company. And they said here, John, go buy some iPads and do something with them. Um, and we have to do all this cool test pilot stuff. And in the meantime, I built relationships at Apple and they said, well, you obviously love this stuff, so you might as well. come over here and do the hiring that you’re doing over there, over here. And there it was, it was Kismet. And then fast forward to today. And that runs through Amazon, that runs through an AI startup that we had the amazing good fortune to take public. And here we are at Games for Love, which is a nonprofit that puts games into children’s hospitals to replace pain with play to improve health outcomes.

Greg Posner: 06:32: 08:02: I want to make sure we talk about that, but backing up, I love your story because it all comes down to the community aspect of it, right? We talk about community in gaming and making community sound more important to healthy people, right? And what we often talk about with a few of our guests, like… their first hire was someone that was in the community helping people out. It was like, I was providing customer support for the game or helping players out. And then they reach out to someone like me or whoever, right, and offer them a job. And it’s just like, that’s the coolest. Again, this community is a really tight-knit community and it’s all about helping each other, right? I mean, you can go to other services and I just don’t think that people are as passionate and maybe they are and I’m just mistaken, right? But we go home and we probably play games, right? We play games with our friends that work in other places and other verticals as well, but it’s really tight. the community. I love how you just owned the electronics, right? You brought iPads into REI, which now everyone’s like, no duh. But this was years ago before everyone even believed in the iPad to be other than something, a big iPhone. And Apple took notice of that. And that’s awesome. But let’s talk about a little bit of Games for Love because we both have children and we’ve kind of talked about this. And I’m Every time I see something now online where something happens to families, it’s heartbreaking to me and it’s devastating. And I think kids deserve every opportunity that they can get. And it’s our job as humans to help enable our children for a better future, a better tomorrow. I love the idea of Games for Love, and I’d like you, if you can, give a brief overview on what it’s for, but how did you get involved in it?

Jon Wolheim: 08:02: 09:48: Yeah. Greg, one of the things you just mentioned, this make the world better, give our kids a better world maybe than we had, is another way to perhaps paint that very similar picture there. It’s not unlike the purpose that you find in playing games, being a parent, I think. Of course, it’s in some cases for some people, and not Being a parent is a choice that many people make, or is a choice that was made for them. So I don’t want to say that being a parent is the only source of this tremendous purpose and meaning. It has been for me, so I’ll speak only in my own experience. As my partner and I, we welcomed our first biological child into our lives here this past January. And that little lady turns one years old, 13 days from the time of this recording, which is very, very exciting. And I have a 21-year-old adopted child who I adopted with a prior partner who is an amazing member of the trans community. If I refer to them, I will use they, them pronouns in case that is something that anybody hears and says, what is that? That’s why. But kind of going back to your question, there’s a reason that I mentioned these kids. And that’s because I truly do believe that to your point, Greg, we have a calling. I, and I almost said the word responsibility, but I think it’s more of a calling, call it an evolutionary response, call it a learned socialized response. But there’s this need to make sure that these little beings that are looking at us saying, Hey, what happens next? There’s a need to be able to say something good and to have an answer for that, because we’re responsible for that. And especially when it’s a, it’s a little infant, you know, and now, now almost a little toddler, Holy smokes, who’s looking at you saying, you know, Dada. Time will fly.

Greg Posner: 09:48: 09:49: Enjoy it while you can.

Jon Wolheim: 09:49: 14:44: Yeah, right. They say that the the days are long, but the years are short. And I have to say that this year has been short. And the days, specifically the nights, have been very long with plenty of spit ups and all kinds of diapers. But let’s go back to games for love. So why did I get involved with games for love? So Shortly after our little one was born and I actually exited the AI startup that I was part of after going public and it was just perfect timing. took a first of my lifetime career pause to actually use this once in a lifetime chance to be there to see the first year. Now that that’s coming to an end, I’m excited to actually transition back into the workforce at some point in the future, which will be a lot of fun. I’m going to actually use some of this advice that I’m so privileged to be able to be out here helping to share with the amazing Amir’s and Aaron’s and all these wonderful ideas and Justin’s Chris’s of the world, but games for love came along. It just happened to be a post that Justin Williams, who I mentioned a moment ago, he’s a senior recruiter over at Activision Blizzard, he had shared a post about ways to get into gaming in unconventional ways. And one of those was volunteering. And I had run hiring for gaming at many, many places, including those big tech companies that we talked about, but I had never really been in it fully, professionally, in a completely 100% sense. And so that’s what’s next for me as I transition back into the workforce, that’ll be it. But I wanted to, in the meantime, do something that benefited somebody beyond just the four walls of our home. And I, when I was 12 years old, I was actually in the hospital for some six months, in and out, very brief periods out of that hospital for some really unpleasant stuff. And this was before cell phones. This is way, way back in the day. And so technology wasn’t great. In fact, the first Game Boy Color had just come out. So definitely people can do some math and get my pretty much exact carbon dated age right now. But basically, what happened is when I went into that hospital, as I mentioned, my dad was a trucker, and he was not, you don’t go into trucking for the money, folks, it is not a lucrative pursuit. But when I did go in, and it became clear that I was going to be there for a long time, and he wasn’t going to be able to be there, he actually scraped together enough money and bought me that that Game Boy Color with Pokemon red. And, and did I play them? pixels out of that thing. Every I truly believe I walked every square inch of that game, like every possible pixel that your sprite could inhabit. I think I did. Mostly because I had so much time. But here’s the thing. I don’t remember the bad parts of that hospital visit, which is crazy. I don’t remember the smell. I don’t remember doctors’ conversations. Specifically, I don’t remember a lot of the pain, and I know there was a lot of that. I do remember all the entire front to back of Pokemon Red. And that was, I think, a young mind latching onto something positive and a source of meaning and purpose in a sea of ambiguity, pain, and fear. And there’s millions of kids right now around the world who are in that exact place. And so Games for Love puts games, largely through the use of Nintendo Switches, into hospitals, largely children’s hospitals, and helps the medical professionals there to understand how to integrate that technology, games, into care protocols. So it’s not just a dusty Xbox that’s shoved into a back corner or something that the staff plays on their breaks, which is actually great to have that mental unloading because our healthcare professionals need that. And they actually use some of this technology as well, creates a net good, but really it’s there for the kids to again, replace pain with play and increasingly to be able to stay connected to their social aspects of their lives, their family, their friends, through online games, the role of Fortnite, for example, has been transformative. And I’ve seen so many stories already of kids saying, as silly as it might sound, even in the gaming community, we can sometimes laugh at ourselves and think that we sound like nerds when we say some of this stuff. And we do sound like nerds a lot of the time, to be fair. But when I say something like Fortnite, I truly believe I have met people for whom Fortnite has saved their life. And I truly believe that that is to be the case. Saying that out loud sounds almost silly and people might even laugh at me within the community, but I will say that with sincerity and commitment and zealous commitment because it’s true. Anyway, I’ll ramble on about games for love for eternity, because I think it’s just fantastic. One thing to note games for love.org. We have an amazing volunteering program, a wonderful way to get into the games industry with real world experience, you could be coding a game less than a week from the time that you sign up, or you could be working with me and people in culture or all kinds of other things.

Greg Posner: 14:45: 16:54: I think it’s such a great cause. We’ll link to it. We’ll share it with everyone so they have it as well. I think your story, thank you for sharing it. I know it’s an unfortunate situation, but you’ve learned from it. You grew from it. I mean, these escapes are very important. And to the last point you made where you’ve met people that Fortnite maybe saved their lives, I 100% agree. I mean, from different people I’ve spoken to, I’ve got the opportunity to hear about, you know, a lot of times people, I’m a big Redditor, right? People are very toxic because they can hide behind the mask of anonymity. I’m bad at saying words here, right? Being anonymous online, right? Usually people are assholes when they’re being anonymous online. There’s also people that are maybe shy or scared or have anxiety and are afraid to express themselves. But when you’re online behind the character, they have that, right? That courage, that strength to do so. And by being in the industry, you can go meet these communities, meet new friends. World of Warcraft’s that perfect example. You mentioned it earlier, when we chatted, you’ve met people that have gotten married, relationships have grown through these games. And I think Fortnite is a huge platform. I love the concept of Fortnite. I stopped playing for years and I logged back in and it blew my mind what it’s become. It’s such a great community. And I think what you’re doing for Games for Love, I think everyone and anyone who has the means to take a look into it should, because again, with or without children, I believe that children are really the future and we need to be able to give them the best opportunity. And for the unfortunate children, giving them these escapes lets them forget what might be happening. And I think that’s very powerful. So I thank you for sharing your story there. Absolutely. It also kind of goes into kind of, and maybe it’s not right, but like we wanted to talk about a little bit about the neurosciences and biochemistry. What happens in our brain when we are playing, right? I spoke with an audio guy, Matt Ambler. He was talking about the dopamine effects of when you’re listening to music and you’re playing a game, you get that experience. And I know that’s something that you really like to kind of explore and talk about. I guess starting at a high level, do you want to explain what we mean when we’re talking about kind of the neuroscience in gaming? Yeah, absolutely.

Jon Wolheim: 16:54: 21:39: So perfect spot to call out. I really enjoy the community here, specifically on LinkedIn and games, because there’s just this unique sort of constellation right now of people who are just here sharing resources in the professional sense to help people get into games just because they they want to and because they care. largely as a volunteer effort that has nothing to do with their work. One of those people is Aida Figueroa, who is out in Barcelona, who I’m excited to be able to actually go and visit here with my family soon, which is really, really exciting. But Aida recently hosted an audio event that she and I put together, which was the neuroscience of games. And it actually ended up being the highest engagement anything that I’ve been part of, including some of these big symposiums, because it created a conversation that actually grew over time, instead of echoing until it went silent. And I think that’s because we’re always curious about how our brains work. And it’s really incredible when you have something as poignant as games, Because the examples are very, very powerful, and they’re very recent, and they’re very relatable. So reward-driven engagement is really the sort of main operating term to play with here. Reward-driven engagement is why a quest system works so well in World of Warcraft. Reward driven engagement is also why you are more likely to stick to your exercise goals when you use the lose it app or, or gamified tools like that for any sort of goals that you’ve set for yourself. Whether your goal is farming 15 acorns that you’re going to give to the arch Druid, or it’s to walk five miles this week. Either way, when you can see the incremental steps that you’re taking, you’re much more likely to continue doing it. And that’s exactly what many, many companies have figured out. Really excited to talk about Web3, which has a huge adjacency here at some point in our conversation today. But you really have a small number of, or I should say a short list of biochemical reactions and or endocrine elements that are at play in the mind. Dopamine is one of those. That’s essentially what we have in our mind that tells us something feels good. We should do that more. Serotonin, which essentially maintains or tells us you are happy or maintains a mood. You’ve got oxytocin, which is essentially creating a sense of belonging and or love. And of course, adrenaline, which is going to trigger your fight or flight, get your heart beating real fast. These are all criminal simplifications, oversimplifications of the role of these things. But just for the sake of the conversation, this is some of what these things do. And when they play together, you’re usually seeing when you’re playing a game that you really like, that game is actually a carefully orchestrated symphony of those chemicals being dispersed in your brain in a specific order that really ends up feeling like music, like kind of like Ratatouille, you know, the beautiful colors that you experience. You remember games, big moments in games. If you grew up in the 90s, you probably remember when you found the Master Sword in Link to the Past. That music, that huge moment, that was a real accomplishment. I remember I had two friends in the room when that happened, and we were cheering, oh, we did it, we did it, we did it. And that will always be with me because my dopamine is super high. I had incredible oxytocin because it was a social experience. There’s a sense of belonging there with my friends, so on and so forth. So dopamine, though, is the primary driver of reward driven engagement. And it is also I think it’s really important to always talk about, games are fantastic, but like anything, there’s such a thing as too much. I don’t think anybody listening to this needs to hear this necessarily, but for anybody who might be critical of saying like, oh, okay, we talk all about all this great stuff about games as an industry, as an element in society. And I truly believe that games are a force for good. I also believe that Tylenol is a force for good. I believe that penicillin is a force for good. You can take too much of those things, and so too with gaming. I think that overstimulation and addiction are two, or maybe dependence is a better word to use. Overstimulation and dependence are two things to really think about with games where if you’re dependent upon it, and it’s the only reason you get out of bed, it’s probably not good. Or if you game and for whatever reason, your unique biochemistry, you get so overstimulated that then you have a hard time interacting outside of that space. It’s probably again, not good. And you probably want to moderate a little bit. But yeah, that’s kind of a brief primer on the biochemistry.

Greg Posner: 21:40: 24:16: I’ve spoken to a few game designers and it’s interesting to hear how they describe building those situations or those experiences into a game, whether it be throwing a grenade and building out a few extra bounces for it to get where it needs, even though they don’t need to, right? It’s all really a symphony, right? Symphony, whatever, where everything has to play a role. As you were talking through the dopamine effect, I thought about booting up Mario 64 for the first time, because that was one of those major experiences for me where you kind of fly down, see Mario in 3D, see the castle, as well as GTA 3, right? Because GTA 3 kind of pioneered open world. Yeah, GTA 2 was there, but it was overhead. And then all of a sudden you saw everything from the eyes and you’re just like, wow. And Rockstar is phenomenal at that, right? Because every GTA since then, they’ve managed to one-up themselves. And you just think how that happens again. But I love that you you talk about the addictive side of it, right? Because rewards are a great way to help people get excited about it. But when you start having daily grinds, daily challenges, or it’s 11.50 and you’re like, oh my God, I haven’t logged in and collected all my gems yet. All right, it’s not the end of the world. I get it, right? I know China tried to pass that law a couple of weeks ago. I know it’s a little different than what was there because it was very predatory, but there is that fine line. Again, we hate to always bring the conversation back to kids here. When I’m letting my son, who’s five now, jump into some of the games that I’m playing, I’m worried that he’s going to hit a button or figure out the wrong thing. Or you hear about Roblox. Roblox scares me just based on And don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool environment, but the dopamine effect is fantastic and it’s needed. It builds these great things, but you have to be careful because there are companies out there that are going to take advantage of those sciences and hook you. It’s no different than social media. It’s no different than anything else in the world. You said it in the beginning, know your limits. Like go take a break, go take a walk. And this can lead into web three, because there are web three games now that address like, hey, Pokemon Go is a great example. Get outside, go walking, go move around. And I know there’s many more kind of Metaverse, Web3 games that are being built that encourage it. And while I am not yet a true believer, I do see a path forward with it. Getting people to move around, getting people outside, I think, is only going to help everyone. And I think you’ve got to embrace that, especially post-COVID, because everyone was locked up for the longest time, and now we can get out again. So I think you touched a lot of important things that are happening in gaming and that people need to be aware of.

Jon Wolheim: 24:16: 25:47: Yeah, man, there was that magical time in 2016 that remember this, everybody was out, you know, that that kiddo that I had mentioned, that at the time, gossip, I believe they were 14. Right? Something like that. No, even younger. We would literally after work, go out and just chase Pokemon and end up at big, like duck ponds with hundreds of other people with our lights on. We were Team Valor because we make good life choices and other people were mystic and whatever the yellow one was. There was this amazing singular community moment. I’ll never forget those days, not only because it was such an awesome moment with that amazing little human, but also because I’ve never experienced something like that. I don’t know if we will again. have that sort of cohesion as a community where everybody’s just on this one thing in a physical space. Maybe with spatial computing, you know, Web3 and spatial computing are definitely, I believe, the two, as we kind of look toward the future of games. Which I’m super excited to actually start next week at the time of this recording, starting next week in the week after I’m doing a whole series on future games, because so many questions that are coming up now are like, what’s next? What should we think about? How should I think about my career? How should I think about what I’m learning to code, to design, to understand? And I think it’s important to think about spatial computing, but ultimately Web3 as a sort of underlying architecture for everything. But anyway, yeah, that was such a cool time. I’m so glad you brought up Pokemon Go.

Greg Posner: 25:48: 25:56: Let’s hear your take on Web3, right? Can you put your sales head on and talk to me about Web3 in your vision?

Jon Wolheim: 25:57: 27:39: Yeah, so alongside my amazing time with Games for Love, I’ve had this opportunity to become an advisor for a number of game studios and a number of folks that make technology that supports games. A couple of startups and a couple of larger brands. One of those is actually these guys. They’re called Freename.io. They actually make this shirt that I’m wearing right now. And they make Web3 domains and sell them. And they gave me John.gaming, so That’s pretty amazing that john.gaming was even available, but that’s a Web3 ID. That’s an example of a domain, an SLD, that I now own and I have minted to my blockchain. And I’m excited about that because now if you go on any Web3-enabled browser and you type in john.gaming, you go to this stunning 3D website made by this group called Peach Worlds that lets you see a live preview in this 3D immersive space that’s ready for spatial computing, by the way. You can see my Twitch stream, what’s going on live, my TikTok, my LinkedIn, my Instagram, a live feed of everything that I kind of care about and want to share with you in this sort of immersive social media-esque experience that goes way beyond what we’ve ever seen before. Think of it as like a link tree, but with like five dimensions built into it of personality and immersion. Anyway, Web3, why Web3? Why do I care about this? Why did I start working with the freename.io peeps? By the way, you can go to freename.io and you can get your dot gaming domain before they’re selling very rapidly. And so it’s probably not super likely that like Greg dot gaming is still available.

Greg Posner: 27:39: 27:42: But if you’re like, you know, out of my price range right now,

Jon Wolheim: 27:43: 31:47: Well, it’s usually like between 50 and sometimes 200 bucks. But, you know, let’s say you’re like, you know, Uber Panther 28 or whatever your gaming handle is. That’s probably Uber Panther 28 is probably still available. Anyway, Web3, the reason I even got involved with these guys is one, they’re brilliant. And two, the fungibility of Web3, I believe, is something that’s going to completely transform gaming. And there’s an example that I like to talk about that for me was where I really started to start to understand the role of blockchain in games. So Greg, if you were like me, you made some awesome decisions in high school and you were probably sitting in the back of the cafeteria playing magic cards. So if anybody, this is that like, you know, there’s the tears of nerddom, right? We all we can look up and down. Like somewhere in the middle here towards the bottom, at least in my experience, was the magic card players. Back in the day, it was D&D. Now D&D players like way up here. They’re like the alpha nerds, which is super cool. But back then, the magic card players and the D&D players were not the alpha nerds. We were the people sitting in the back of the cafeteria. Magic cards are a great example, right? Like at the time, you would buy packs of cards, just like you buy your Hearthstone cards, just like you buy any of these other many, many training card games. But you have one card and that one card was singular in the world, right? There were other versions, there are copies of it. But that one thing that you’re holding was the only place that that existed and you only had one. and you could trade it. And just like with NFTs, what we learned from NFTs was, first of all, it was an interesting learning experience, but NFTs as a sort of actual currency, definitely weren’t this future of monetary currency that many people were touting it to be. Crypto may still have that role in the future for some folks, but certainly not NFTs, at least that I can see. However, imagine a world where you have a blockchain, an item that you’ve minted on a blockchain, let’s say a sword, right? Like the sword of a thousand truths. that you have minted to you in World of Warcraft. Imagine a world where you have minted that to your blockchain wallet and your wallet is synced to say Valorant as well. And that exact same sword appears in Valorant, right? And now the fungibility of that thing or the transferability has gone up 10X. The interoperability now that you’ve got with that one item, like a magic card that you could swap between decks and play in different places. Now you can build really cool stuff around that. And the application for cross play 3.0 is insane. The ability to take all of this stuff, these assets that you’ve spent all this time building this thing over here. And if you ever built a character up somewhere and then walked away from a game, it can feel like you just burned, took 150 hours of your life and just threw it in a pile and just burned it. Well, imagine if every single moment you spent on a game added value to every other game you played for the rest of your life. That is really the power of Web3. And I think that it’s only starting to come along. Spatial computing is going to accelerate this 10x. AI, of course, Can’t have a conversation with technology without talking about AI. AI is why this adoption is picking up so quickly because it’s so much easier to create around new technology because technology is creating so quickly. And it is becoming its own sort of self-recursive loop or geometric expanding computing power plus new technology cycle. Yeah, I don’t want to make this the entire Web3 call, but that’s why I’m excited about Web3. That’s the way I’m participating in it, which is with freename.io through the .gaming world, which I think is going to be really transformative for people’s central gaming identities. One day, I think all Twitch streamers will be Greg.gaming, John.gaming, Ninja.gaming, TimTheTatman.gaming, so on and so forth, Pokimane.gaming.

Greg Posner: 31:48: 34:13: I like a lot of what you said, but I want to play devil’s advocate to one of the points that you made because I hear it a lot, but I feel like if you create a sword in Warcraft and you want to bring it to Valorant, the problem is then Activision or Blizzard needs to be in talks with Riot to make sure that, hey, does this asset work in your game, right? It’s not like you could take a square and put it in a circle game. It just doesn’t work like that. And I love the idea of it, right? I love the ability to say, hey, I purchased this and I can bring it to any game where I realistically see that happening. And I don’t know why it’s not yet is like for Electronic Arts, right? Electronic Arts has Madden cards. They have FIFA cards. They have all these online things. That in the world makes a lot of sense for me to create, for lack of better words, a metaverse. Here’s your trading card universe. Here’s the upgraded year. Your cards still carry over, or Fortnite’s doing a great job of it. If you buy a skin, you can turn it into a Lego skin, or you can turn it into a car. There are places this works and there’s places that they don’t work. And going back to the whole NFT side of things, and even going back further to talk about the dopamine effect and the neuroscience, I think NFTs, and maybe they will be something, but I think they put such a bad taste in people’s mouth with how they first came out that it’s going to be hard to get people to adopt them. I think it’s one of those things that maybe they will be a thing, but you can’t call it what it is. I had this one great conversation with someone that was like, every time Call of Duty comes sequel update. They don’t go out there and say, it’s a whole new thing. Here’s a brand new sequel update. It all happens behind the scenes and it just works. It blends into the game. And I think that’s what NFTs at least need. They just need to be a part of it, right? I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but that’s kind of my gut feeling. And I do think Web 3 will be something, don’t get me wrong. I mean, you and I were both around for the launch of Web 2, which I feel like it took a decade upon itself because people kept saying, oh, Web 2 is coming. Web 2 is coming. And the next thing you know, there, right? I’m not sold. We don’t necessarily know what it is. I love the Dock Gaming stuff. I think all that stuff does make sense and it will play a role in it. It’s just, it gets down to the nitty gritty of what are these assets that are going to carry over? How do they carry over? How does ownership work? I think it becomes this fairly heavy conversation, which is fascinating to me. I do think 2024 is the year of Web3. I do. I just don’t know the form it’s going to fully take when it’s time.

Jon Wolheim: 34:13: 37:22: Well, I would say if we if we were to rub a crystal ball, or whatever you do with a crystal ball to see the future, I think that this is going to happen in Southeast Asia. So Southeast Asia is absolutely the hotbed of web three game development. Not only because there’s so much interoperability, so that you do something with one game or ecosystem, and that plugs into something else because there’s so many new ecosystems coming up. But there’s a huge amount of investment. There’s $1.5 billion went into Web3 game studio VC in 2023 alone, and that’s on track to be 3x that in 2024, to your point, Greg, of the year of Web3. So I think that it’s it’s actually it’s probably a cultural thing. I think that you especially are very sort of Western, largely us centric, game design, game philosophy, understanding of how games work, I think that you’re going to see a Tencent or who knows, come along and and really integrate meaningfully. Even if even if you only had like blockchain items that work between Honkai Star Rail and Genshin Impact, just two games within one universe or that even the same universe within one sort of game studio ecosystem. Right then and there, you’ve already now introduced this sort of fungibility piece. And Blizzard is actually starting to do some of this with their accounts, where, for example, if you went to BlizzCon, you get all this stuff, you mounts appear in your in your collection, you got card backs and hearthstone. all the games, you got some sort of new cool decoration or collateral. And it’s starting to pick up speed now where I believe that once one or two big market movers start to integrate blockchain technology to give people that serious return on investment, because here’s the thing, once you make things fungible, you make them sellable. And I think that coming back to Fortnite, the reason I’m so excited about what Epic’s doing with Fortnite actually has nothing to do with the game. The game is phenomenal. We’ve all aligned around that. However, what they’re doing with UEFN, Unreal Engine for Fortnite, and the marketplace they’re building as a commerce hub and a hotbed, an accelerator for opportunity, there are people making millions of dollars right now building and creating and selling on that marketplace, just like Roblox. And I think it’s creating a sort of generation of entrepreneurs that very few people that I know, even that are on the sort of bleeding edge of games, have stopped to really consider. And I think that when you take a lot of money and a lot of speed of development, and you add in the ability to actually make things resellable, like a domain, like a physical item, that of course is what blockchain does, is it makes one thing and only one thing. Then I think you’re going to really start to see something cool. So yeah, there’s my ramble.

Greg Posner: 37:23: 38:16: Yeah, I like that. And I think the other thing, I think 2024 is the year of user-generated content. I think everyone’s creating stuff now. I think we just talked about the predatory Roblox type of stuff. Epic at least is doing it by the books, so that’s cool. But I love the ability for people to start creating content. I think that builds a stronger community, gives longer legs to games because more people are contributing stuff to it. The one thing I’m curious on your thought of as someone that is big in AI is When are we going to start seeing, and maybe we already do in user-generated content, is people just throwing stuff into Dolly or any other web generation tool and spamming it? This probably isn’t the best and most thought out question in general, but I guess my question is more around the AI in gaming. And is that something that worries you, excites you, all the above.

Jon Wolheim: 38:16: 43:49: So AI and gaming for me, the first place that my mind goes when we start talking about that, if you just put that on the table, and where my brain goes is the application to, or implications I should say, for professional opportunities, i.e. jobs, because of AI. And I think we’ve already probably seen the first wave of Uh, reduction in force or layoffs is the appropriate word to use. And this is probably a good time to remind everybody that these opinions are my own. They have nothing to do with Apple or Amazon or any other. Entity with whom I’ve ever been affiliated or may ever be affiliated What’s nice about being a unique soul entity right now is I can say these things From a place of complete just it’s just me. Nobody’s nobody’s paying me right now even as an advisor for free name I’m just there as an advocate and there for the ride because it’s so exciting now that said I I do think that we’re going to see more layoffs in 2024. We’re already seeing, you know, some 21,000, you know, a few weeks into, thanks to unity and some stuff that happened at Twitch and YouTube, which is unfortunate, or I should say, Google specifically, this is unfortunate. This is these are people’s jobs. These are human beings whose lives are fundamentally altered, who ultimately got written a bad check. People went to school, they wanted to get into this thing and they did. Then because of largely irresponsible or overly optimistic hiring, and I will always say bad business outcomes 100% need to be attributed to leadership. That’s just what it is. That’s just all that there is to it. Look at how different things are in two different gaming companies, right? Take any of the gaming companies that have had major layoffs, specifically in the United States, then take a look at what Nintendo did in Q4 of 2023 and are doing now in Q1 of 2024. Every single executive took a significant pay cut. Many gave up big equity. Many took significant steps backward financially and acknowledged the fact that the market wasn’t what they thought it would be and they didn’t bet correctly, essentially. And as such, no layoffs, right? As opposed to other entities that did not take that stance. And you’ve got plenty of executives who don’t have anything different in their paychecks when thousands and thousands of people do when that Delta could have easily canceled the other one out, i.e. executives. And I speak as a, as a quote unquote, big leader in some of these companies. You have to own this. If you’re an executive in a gaming company, you need to own the business outcomes, including the need to have layoffs, and you need to do everything that you can to avoid that. Now, AI is unfortunately accelerating this because it’s kind of, I think, speaking to people’s kind of darker motivations. And for shareholders, sometimes that can speak to, wow, we could potentially have these double-digit margin savings by erasing entire groups. And the only way we’re going to find that out is if we try it. And they’re trying it. And I believe that it’s not working. I believe that you’re seeing AI not meaningfully integrated. It is, to your point, Greg, it’s almost becoming a meme now where people are creating stuff in the dollies and the mid journeys of the world. And I say, this is somebody who very openly creates a lot of stuff in mid journey, but I’m not trying to hide it, right? Like I’m, I use it for my silly graphics that I put on as like caricatures of other creators on LinkedIn and this, but I’m not like trying to say, this is my original artwork. This is my, you know, prompt messing around for a couple of hours. But when people are trying to build games around AI generated content, it’s just not there yet. And I think people are making bad bets that it is here and it’s going to be here soon and it’s costing jobs. And that’s not okay. I believe that that’s not okay because that’s people’s lives that we’re talking about. I am really excited to see some of the trajectory that’s happening in the United States right now around protections, including unionization and some of the other work that people are doing to protect developers and to protect people who trusted and got into this industry to create amazing things and really just want to do that and do so with safety, psychological and financial safety. But AI is not helping with that right now, where I think in the next six months, when the corner turns, especially as interest rates start to come back down and the economy Fortunately, we are heading into an election, which is a huge source of uncertainty. So that might turn this actually around and reverse course and put us into more of an uncertain financial space, which means, again, higher interest rates. But when money becomes more available, people become more willing to borrow it and get access to it and use it, more jobs. And I think people are really going to stop and say, okay, we had our adolescence with AI, and now we have a good understanding of what we can actually do with this. that’s meaningful and positive as opposed to just novel and let me just see what I can do because everybody’s doing this. And I guess I have to do it too. And now my board is telling me I have to save all this money on payroll because they read an article this morning that said that AI could do all the level design. But it can’t, and it’s not going to for a long time. I’m hopeful that backside of 2024, Q3, probably Q4, you’re really going to see this big upswell of hiring in games as studios realize the wonderful, brilliant creators that are human and understand how to design for humans are still here and let’s bring them back and let’s build some stuff.

Greg Posner: 43:49: 46:02: There’s something to be said about the human touch, which I think is often overlooked in something. And I am a true believer in AI. I think people should embrace it. I don’t think companies should fully embrace it yet. I think individuals should be utilizing these tools to strengthen what they do. I don’t think it should be replacing what they do. And there are a lot of upsides, right? I mean, Unity is the example. They grew because they needed to put a lot of content out there during COVID, and they hired a ton of people, put a lot of content out there. And all of a sudden, market starts to slow down. Fine, we have to get rid of people, but let’s replace these people with machines and machines will just start automatically putting this content out there.” And people see right through it. If you go online and people see images that are generated, they’re like, why does that guy have six fingers? It’s like people don’t proof check the stuff they’re keeping. Yeah, right? Use the tool. I got called out for using image generation for the blog and I stopped because I do have those resources. I don’t have access to them, but it’s one of those things that you do what you do to try and survive, but if you get called out, fine, you’re right. I am doing it. I embrace it. I do it and I’ll stop doing it, but it shouldn’t stop people from learning and understanding how these tools work because it’s one of those things that once the technology is out there and I know people are calling for it to go back, it’s already out there. You can’t escape it, so you might as well embrace it. And I think it happened when we went from horse and buggy to cars. People are like, no, I don’t want cars. What’s going on with that? Trust me, a horse and buggy had no chance, right? Embrace change. It is scary, right? But especially for people who are first coming out of school now, this is a great opportunity to start learning these new tool sets. I’ve talked to people in other companies that are like, no, I don’t use chat GPT or anything. You might as well throw an email and say, how does this sound? Or something like, don’t put any personal stuff in there. You don’t want that on the LLMs. Utilize these tools. It won’t replace you, but if you know how to use it, it’s just going to make you a more powerful employee at what you have the ability to do. And also going back to your original point, executives for sure should be responsible. Is anyone going to hold them responsible for the layoffs? Probably not. Um, but, but yes, I agree with you, right? People have big eyes, big visions, big numbers in their mind. They’re like, oh, we can hit these numbers. And all of a sudden profits fall off a cliff. What are you going to do? Like it’s a shitty place to be. I’ve been talking a lot here, but go ahead.

Jon Wolheim: 46:02: 50:14: No, I, it’s I, everything you just said, Greg, I couldn’t align with more completely, especially the two, two of your sentiments. One of which my own version of that would be, you know, create. with AI don’t create as AI. So the idea of… Like everybody, when trying it out, I first was like, hey, can I have jasper.ai or even chat GPT through make.com? Can I automate article creation? Let’s just see how this works. Fortunately, I think, especially at the very beginning, many of us were forward-looking enough to say disclaimers, hey, this is AI, just so you know, I’m kind of playing with this. This is not my work. And I think that the uncanny valley is a much deeper trough than anybody really wants to acknowledge. And getting out of the uncanny valley I think we’re all realizing maybe we don’t want to be. Maybe we don’t want to get out of the valley where things that are deep faked or images that were created by non-human hands get to be completely unmistakable from that of what a machine has generated. Yes, we will be there. We’re going to get there. And our path to that place is faster every day. But it is further away, I think, than we all thought. Certainly further away than the people who are getting called out for their AI generated big banners printed at CES and some of this silly stuff that’s still happening now, where you’re like, who did not proofread that memo? But one of the other things that you’d mentioned, Greg, is this sort of like responsibility, who’s holding executives accountable? I think two answers to that, in my opinion, or three, really, if we add a level of personal advocacy that may or may not ring the well with a lot of folks. One is we vote with our dollars. So like, are you going to buy a product from from a company that laid off 5000 people because they could Not because they had to, but because they could and they didn’t make strides, right? And this, this goes to like a level of research, like, like with voting, voting with your dollars that not everybody wants to do. So I’ll get off my soapbox with that one, but worth questioning, right? Like if you give your money to that group, what role did you play in that layoff? Second is I think we, we vote with our jobs, right? So if you are at a place that made that choice. do you decide to stay there and continue to perpetuate a culture that will just do it again, right? Especially if you have the same leadership. But the third is I think that there are executives out there Truly amazing executives. And there’s two names that I think I would encourage everybody who’s listening to this to go and kind of look at if you want to, in my opinion, in one person’s opinion. And that’s going to be Annie and Jeff Strang, which is, these are people who’ve been in the games world since Blizzard in 97 or something like that. Undead Studios, now they have Britannia Media, which has Crop Circle Games and a number of other studios underneath this umbrella, where they’re all about sustainable game creation and the amount of diversity and inclusion that they build into their teams. to make sure that they have intention in their design is absolutely breathtaking. And then also Ben Cavallo over at Midwest Games. Now, these are production houses. These are essentially studios that perpetuate studios. But I love that because that means that everybody under that umbrella is safer and has a more trustworthy backstory to rely upon when things change because market circumstances change. I’m not saying that every single layoff that’s ever happened wasn’t necessary. That’s simply not true. That’s not the reality of business. But I do think that in a world where the economy has grown so significantly, the industry has grown so significantly, record profits are being posted, between something like four to some measure 7% of the entire industry being laid off in one year, that is inappropriate. So that’s where I’m coming from. And Annie’s and Jeff’s and Ben’s of the world, I think are the sort of counterpoint to that sort of work.

Greg Posner: 50:14: 50:33: So I know we’re getting close to time and I want to do talk a little more about the layoffs. And usually in the middle of the podcast, which I think we’re way past, I do a quick spitfire round. If you’re okay with that, I’ll do it right now. It should take less than a minute. I’m going to just throw some questions at you. The answer is the invincibility. Ready? Let’s roll. What’d you have for breakfast?

Jon Wolheim: 50:33: 50:36: Sous vide egg bites, Gruyere and uncured bacon.

Greg Posner: 50:36: 50:38: From Starbucks, huh? Or make them?

Jon Wolheim: 50:38: 50:40: Made at home. Nice.

Greg Posner: 50:40: 50:55: But as close to Starbucks as I could get. There you go. Perfect. If you were to go to a bar, what type of drink are you getting? Iced tea. Iced tea, nice. Not Long Island Iced Tea. What’s the last book that you read?

Jon Wolheim: 50:56: 50:59: Ah, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Greg Posner: 50:59: 51:20: Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow. Okay, perfect. Usually I ask what’s the last game you played, but I cheated and asked you that one in the beginning. So let me ask you this as someone that’s an AI in tech. And for people that aren’t watching the video, John has a lot of cool gadgets here. What is your favorite gadget you purchased in the last physical year?

Jon Wolheim: 51:20: 52:19: Oh, that’s going to be this thing right here. So this is a, um, one-handed gaming keyboard. It’s made by a company called Azeron and this is 3d printed. Uh, these, these guys are actually out of Ukraine, which is amazing that they’re still completely in production. They’re, they’re keeping their business rolling despite the ongoing conflict. You hear those little clicks. Yeah. Every single one of those little pink dots is a key. So there’s like 30 individual keys that you can hit. all in sequence. So it completely replaces your keyboards. If you’re into MMOs like World of Warcraft, your response time and your ability to actually do all of these crazy commands you’re trying to do, it is, I would say, probably reduced by about 80%. And so it’s a completely different game. And it’s so much fun. And it feels like the future. And it looks super weird. And it’s a cool conversation piece.

Greg Posner: 52:20: 52:25: John is looking like Thanos over here. And as long as you hear the clicks and not a snap, we’re good to go.

Jon Wolheim: 52:25: 52:27: Oh my gosh. Ready? I am inevitable.

Greg Posner: 52:27: 53:05: There you go. All right. So you’re off the hot seat. Hopefully that was easy enough. truly respect, and I’m trying to learn how to mimic your approach, for lack of better words, on how you’re helping the community amongst this time of layoffs. Between yourself and Amir, you see a lot of big names in the industry trying to help each other, provide resources, and that’s fantastic. So maybe this could be a two-part question on Why? I mean, it’s a silly question to ask, but what’s drawing you to help these individuals and where can they find resources for this help?

Jon Wolheim: 53:05: 57:01: So second question first, there are a few places that I would recommend people look, like here’s buttons to click. Really, really excited to have a conversation with, uh, it’s amazing human named Camille, uh, who are going to have a LinkedIn live next week. And she likes to describe herself as the clicky person. Like she’s who you talk to when you want to learn exactly what to type into a Boolean string or exactly how to tweak your resume as opposed to all this big strategy stuff. This is the like. Season 25 year recruiter who’s telling you here’s exactly what to do. super excited to talk to her. But the clicky stuff is absolutely a mere set that’s jobs resources. So this is an impossibly valuable, even if you’re not into games, honestly, like even if you don’t have any interesting games, by the time you meaningfully participate in this thing as a mentor, as a mentee, as a learner, Even just somebody who wants to see an amazing ecosystem and community, you’ll want to be in games by the time you’re done, because you’ll see the extent to which people are helping each other, giving up their own time, because we all want this industry to thrive. And we all believe in the people that have created the worlds in which we like to play and explore and belong. That’s at least my motivation. I have a secondary motivation, though, which is this. Anytime there’s big market changes, It’s almost inevitable that the least represented people are the highest impacted in those shifts. And so if you look at BIPOC employees, female identifying and presenting employees. These are disproportionately, and some estimates are that approximately 42% of the people that were laid off were female presenting in an industry that still has about an 18 to 20% representation. That is a difference that you cannot ignore. And this is all, the reason I’m not quoting this data is I’ve seen very different numbers. That’s some of the more optimistic numbers. Anybody who sees different numbers, I encourage you to please reach out to me. I’m a big fan of quoting and sourcing or citing sources to keep reality in news and other places. And so with that, especially the work that I’ve done within the LGBTQ community to really make sure that opportunity continues to be something that is more equally accessible every single day. Because so many people who worked so hard to be represented are less so now than they were at the beginning of 2023, that for me becomes a little bit more of a mission, a little bit less of a hobby. And that’s why I love this stuff so much. I have the impossible privilege to have time right now in between diapers and bottle feeds and reading about new ways to do both of those things. And by reading, I mean watching Instagram Reels. Let’s be very real here. That’s like 85% of where I’ve learned everything about being a parent, for better or worse. I shouldn’t admit that on camera. But I have that time right now and I’m really enjoying finding meaning and purpose and trying to, and I will say this, I’ve just rounded the base on something like 250 of these mentoring calls with the Mirrors program. because I love it. And if even one person has a job today because of that time that I spent, because the job that Amir has spent, then I think I can speak for him. I certainly speak for myself in saying that that time was worth it. Because that 200 or so hours or whatever went into that, That person, that one person whose life was hopefully improved by that, and Amir actually has stats on this, it’s something like 1800 placements that have happened through these job researches. So it’s not just one person, but if even if it was just that one person, at the end of just six months, they’ve already more than made up for the time that went into that. So I think that that’s really add that to a whole career, add that to better reflection, which means games that are designed more inclusively to reflect and include and display more different people. We all get to play together more. And that’s what matters to me.

Greg Posner: 57:01: 57:50: That’s lovely. And you’re talking about inclusive design. And I learned about that from Women in Games, the group. And I think it’s such a… Some of this stuff seems like common sense when you figure it out. No one… I didn’t think about this before, but duh, But I think it’s a fantastic mission, and I feel similar to you, where it’s like, if you can help even just one person, just knowing that, hey, you helped this person, this individual get to where they want to go, or just get back on their feet, right? I think there’s something to be said about that. It’s just a feeling that you… It’s that dopamine effect, right? You’re getting those people into positions that you just love, and it’s a good feeling inside. And we’ll make sure to link to Amir’s, his job stuff that’s on LinkedIn. We’ll have links to all that stuff. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you wanted to talk about? I’ll edit this out.

Jon Wolheim: 57:50: 57:59: I’m just more curious. I’d love to call out a few of the creators that I recommend people who maybe are feeling a little lost might want to follow.

Greg Posner: 57:59: 58:08: Cool. With all that being said, John, is there anyone you’d recommend or any influence that you have online that maybe people could check out?

Jon Wolheim: 58:08: 01:00:22: Yeah. Right now, there’s a lot of There’s a lot of lost feeling where, yes, there’s a lot of people who’ve been laid off now, you know, somewhere, somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 to 23,000, just since January of 2023 in the games industry. But that doesn’t not incorporate all of the people who’ve graduated, who were literally getting degrees to work in this space. And they’re now, you know, working at Applebee’s or whatever to make ends meet. So there’s probably something like 100 to 150,000 people out there who are disenfranchised and probably asking, do I want anything to do with this industry anymore? And I’d like to share a few names that I recommend people follow on LinkedIn. And they’re on all these other socials, but I happen to really love LinkedIn because it has a little bit more of a ballast. and a little bit less of a Twitter slash X, sort of a Wild West effect. So you can kind of trust LinkedIn a little bit more, I feel. But those people, I would say, are certainly Amir Sattva, not only for his resources, but also for his sort of daily knowledge shares. Justin Williams for very tactical information. Matt Herndon, another Blizzard person for really awesome strategic thought, like here’s industry top down and kind of your role in it. Aida Figueroa, who we talked about for inspiration. Aaron Goldsmith. for stories about kind of how to find your way into games and how, even if you don’t see yourself there, how her journey into games is perhaps a template that could inform your own. Maria Blaza, who’s the fairy job mother over at Netflix Games. She has, along with Elisa Jaleeson, this really awesome thing called Game Talk Unlocked, which is a community gathering tool, which is trying to replicate the Pokemon Go effect, actually, Greg, it’s funny you mentioned that. Um, and then a host of others, honestly, if you go to any of their pages, including my own, you’ll probably see a lot of reshares within this community. If you just sort of follow that rabbit hole for a while and just hit follow a bunch, your feed is going to be a much more informed one. I believe when it comes to games industry, what’s going on, how to get into it, maybe even why you want to still do so.

Greg Posner: 01:00:22: 01:00:48: Great. I agree with those resources. I follow all those resources as well. So I’d highly recommend that. We can link to all that stuff as well. And John, you’re one of these individuals that I randomly reached out into LinkedIn because I did follow you. And I was like, I hope he responds. And you did. And this has been an honor and a privilege for you to join me today. So thank you so much. And before we go, I’d like to just give you the floor if there’s anything else. personal or whatever that you want to share with the audience, go for it.

Jon Wolheim: 01:00:48: 01:01:39: One last call out for games for love.org. If you are interested in volunteering, of course, we’re a nonprofit, we exist almost entirely from charity streams. So if you’re a streamer, and you’d like to stream with us, we are so so so grateful for everybody that does any donations. Of course, we’re so excited to receive those and every dollar is a kid helped in this world who needs it. And also call out to some of our big corporate donors who’ve helped us so much in this last year. Blizzard Entertainment was hugely generous with us. Corsair Games, Secret Labs, these guys right here, and Origin PC, and a number of others. Just really, really great. And we’re just very grateful to you, the listener, who hopefully wants to come and hang out with us, and to all those entities for helping to perpetuate the work that we do.

Greg Posner: 01:01:40: 01:01:54: We will have links to Games for Love, everything Jon related, as well as a lot of the resources that he mentioned. So once again, Jon, thank you so much. I hope you get some sleep. I hope you have a great rest of your day, and I look forward to being in touch again. So thanks for joining. Thank you, Greg, for all that you do. Thank you.

Greg Posner

Avid gamer with a passion for storytelling. My goal is to unpack the narratives of customers, partners and others to better understand how industry-leaders tackle today's challenges.

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