Podcasts these days are fascinating to listen to, especially when they go deep with their subjects. And that’s exactly what Harold Goldberg has done with Talking Games, a limited series podcast he’s hosting alongside former Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime.
Over the past few weeks, the duo has talked with a number of guests, including Xbox head Phil Spencer. That episode can be found below.
But what prompted the duo to get together in the first place? And what’s more, where could the show be headed next? We had a chance to chat with Goldberg about the creation of Talking Games, as well as other subjects. Take it away, Harold!
DVS Gaming: First off, congrats on the podcast! You’ve had Phil Spencer and Geoff Keighley, and we’re still in the midst of its run. How are you feeling right now?
Harold: Happy. Tired. Elated. I’m so glad the New York Videogame Critics Circle got to do something that hasn’t been done before – with Reggie.
DVS Gaming: How did the podcast come together? Did you go to Reggie and say, “Hey, I’ve got an idea,” or was it the other way around?
Harold: I went to Reggie and said, two things are happening. We’re in the midst of COVID-19 and people are sad and isolated. Plus, the New York Videogame Critics Circle is a nonprofit which mentors, hires paid interns and offers scholarship. Along those lines, I was asked to start a program for young people at a Bronx homeless shelter. I thought we could entertain people and raise money for a great cause at the same time. Thankfully, Reggie, who’s on our board, agreed. We’re raising money at NYGameCritics.com/Reggie and we would love it if all Reggie fans to donate through that portal.
DVS Gaming: Did you guys go through a few “trial runs” to get the vibe going for the show, or would you say you found it right off the bat?
Harold: I sent Reggie a show run document and a script. We went over a couple of names for the show. Annie Pei, a Circle member from CNBC agreed to produce and we all got along. It was an amazingly good vibe from the get-go.
The Fans Love It
DVS Gaming: How has the reception to the show been thus far? From what I’ve seen, people really like it.
Harold: It’s been great because it’s unique show. There’s nowhere else where a legendary, former game company president joins forces with a journalist to raise money for charity on a podcast. And Anton Sanko, a Grammy and Emmy winner, scored our music.
DVS Gaming: What’s the biggest challenge when it comes to putting together a podcast like this?
Harold: We have a great team of volunteers – all Circle members working hard together – while most have their own full-time jobs. I think scheduling sometimes is a challenge. We haven’t had any issues with getting guests or getting our message across. It’s been a smooth process overall and a wonderful experience!
DVS Gaming: Is there anything missing from the show that you’d like to add, or do you think the format is fine the way it is?
Harold: I like the format the way it is. I’d probably like to add live music, but that is a challenge in itself.
DVS Gaming: What guests would you like to see on the show over the course of its run? Shigeru Miyamoto, perhaps? Give us a rundown of your “dream” guests.
Harold: Because of Reggie’s profile and, well, I’ve been around as a journalist for a long time, I think we have every game industry person we’ve wanted to get. In my wildest dreams? Barack Obama, John Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Jenny Lewis and Paul McCartney.
More For the Future?
DVS Gaming: The game industry is in a rough spot with everything that’s happening right now. Do you believe your podcast provides a way for people to unwind and get better perspective on what’s on the horizon?
Harold: Yes. I hope we can provide entertainment, empathy, and education. There’s not a lot of yukking it up on the podcast. There is humor as you saw with the Phil Spencer and DrLupo episodes. It’s serious but chill, too, and we all have something to say.
DVS Gaming: What’s next after this podcast series concludes? Will you try a different one? Maybe try to bring Reggie back for more? Is his body ready?
Harold: We’re all super busy. I have two books I want to write. The Circle has mentoring throughout the summer and then we begin to produce the 10th New York Game Awards in January (either virtually or in-person). Reggie is quite busy with a number of projects. You’ll have to listen to Episode 7 to find out if we’re going to do this again. I can say it’ll be a special PlayStation episode with lots of surprises – all to benefit homeless students.