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AthleteI am Patti Catalano Dillon, a Native American and a former World and American record holder for long distance road racing, and a pioneer for women's athletics. AMA.

Jun 14th 2017 by pattiboston227 • 32 Questions • 6920 Points

Hi Reddit, I’m excited to be hosting my first AMA live from E3 2017.

I’ve been working in video games for the last 31 years, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most talented people in the industry. Not only are video games the fastest growing form of entertainment, they’re beloved by communities of players around the world and we believe that they can enrich peoples’ lives.

Beyond games I’m passionate about new technology, new methods of managing creative talent and new types of transportation… and chocolate!

Yesterday we held our annual E3 conference where we announced what I think is one of our strongest lineups of games in recent years. If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil it for you, watch it here >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q1s3lOzQ1A

Edit 1 - I'll start answering questions at 10:30am PT keep them coming!

Edit 2 - Thanks so much for your questions, I really enjoyed hearing from you all, unfortunately that is all the time I have for today. I hope we can do this again soon!

Proof 1

Proof 2

Q:

What advice do you have for aspiring runners?

A:

What does Ticketmaster do with all the pain they harvest from the souls they rip off at the box office?


Q:

Were there episode ideas that were refused by Disney because of content matter or the company did not think it would be suitable for their general audience?

A:

Whats the deal with the rainbow six siege servers man?


Q:

Have a goal! Stick to it. Even if that goal is just running a mile a day...but dream bigger. If I could do it over again, I would have dreamed bigger.

A:

So funny story- there's this machine we kept in the back, right, called the Hate Engine. We have these siphons right underneath the desk that suck up all the complaints to add to the Hate Engine, and the Engine converts that hate into more money, which is why they keep adding service fees. More fees = more money = more hate = more more money.

Seriously though, nobody paid me to be a fan of Ticketmaster's practices. This whole ticket monopoly situation is kind of fucked right now. Best lesson I learned at the job was to always buy from the venue directly when I can.


Q:

Actually Disney totally left us alone, we did what we wanted. We got one note from Michael Eisner that said "love the show, could use more history" (EG)

A:

Bonjour… I am very much aware of the issue and it’s a personal priority for me. Whenever the servers go down, I know within about a minute. I am working with many different teams to solve those problems as I know that this is as important to your enjoyment of the game as the gameplay itself. We are already rolling out fixes like Operation Health that is all about improving the core infrastructure and we hope that this is a step in the right direction.


Q:

Thanks for doing this AMA!

I think the beginning of your story, where you took stock of how you were feeling and what you were doing with your life and decided to change it is something a lot of people could stand to read and reflect on - myself included.

Your story reminds me a bit of my mom, who's a Native woman and the first to graduate college in her family. She describes racism (including from members of our tribe, e.g. being called an apple) and sexism she felt when she was younger, and how it effected her sense of identity.

How did you eventually come to appreciate that part of yourself and connect to it? How does it inform who you are and what you do nowadays? Do you feel any pressure to advocate for Native Americans, either at large or for your tribe? I would love to embrace that part of my heritage but I feel like an imposter and struggle to do so authentically.

Thanks!

A:

Best lesson I learned at the job was to always buy from the venue directly when I can.

One time I had decided to attend a comedy show st the last minute. Bought tickets at the venue, a couple of hours before the show started. Still had Ticketmaster fees.


Q:

How did you choose the kids that were on the show? I was always so jealous of those kids, man.

A:

Is there a decision as a CEO that you regret or wish you could've done better?


Q:

So does my daughter. When recently asked what tribe she was from, she replied "Mi'kmaq and Chickasaw!" To which a man laughingly corrected "Mi'kmaq and Chickasaw? More like Mi'kmaq and Miracle Whip!" (She's very pale, her grandfather is Irish.)

I hated my nose and wanted to fix it for eons...until I went to a women's conference for Native Americans in Green Bay Wisconsin. I was thirtysomething. All I saw were people with my nose. It was insane!! I had long dark hair, split in the middle, with this long nose, and that was the first time I felt like I loved my nose, and it was part of who I was.

I didn't embrace my heritage until I had children. I became involved in the Native American Indian Community of Boston (NAICOB). I worked there and served on the board of directors. Because I had children, it became important that they knew who they were and what was flowing in their blood and in their spirit.

I don't feel pressure, but it's something I love to do. I'm Mi'kmaq and I'm proud.

It sounds like you need to discover what being Native means to you...embracing your culture and tribe is a process. Contrary to what most Americans think, most Natives don't live on reservations, we just exist in everyday life. People think we're invisible, and being proud of your heritage is so important today.

Be still. It will speak to you.

A:

Makes sense, not all venues work the same way. Can't really speak for the ones I didn't work at.


Q:

That was a fun part of the gig, doing the casting. Back then most kid talent in Seattle did modeling or print ads and couldn't really walk and talk on camera. We scoured local school theater programs, talent agencies, friends, relatives, friends of friends....It wasn't past me to dress up my baby as yoda (use the forks Luke for the Structures show) ( http://imgur.com/us2fxSj ) when needed. (EG)

A:

Thanks for the question. I would say we were very strongly investing in MMOs in the late 90's/early 2000s and we stopped that side of the business because it wasn't performing well enough and we should have continued on with that.


Q:

How has age affected your running? My SO was a runner, but had to slow down because of heart and foot problems (currently healing). You wrote that you pushed through as a competitor, but how differently would you have approached this if it was just for your health and enjoyment without competition?

A:

My mom goes to a ticketmaster kiosk at Walmart. Never checked it out for myself. There still fees through the kiosk?


Q:

What do you two think of Bill Nye Saves The World?

A:

Any word on a splinter cell game in the works. What can we expect ?


Q:

Well, as a competitor, I pushed through. That's what you did, push. But now as an older person and running again to be competitive. Right now I am not pushing through even minor soreness. (Ok, that's a fib. I am pushing through...but not so hard.)

If I have to push through three runs, meaning three runs not three days, then I will back off and take stock. That's me though. At times I'm an idiot.

Right now, I am not pushing...I've missed several days of running due to foot and ankle weakness. I am doing stretching and strengthening exercises for ankle and lower leg.

I have a long term game. It'll take a few years to come to fruition. But that's ok. I'll enjoy great health, camaraderie at races and the companionship of my beloved Wilson on my runs. Hubby runs at different times due to work schedule otherwise I'd run with him. Though he is much faster than I (at the moment).

When I was coming up through the ranks at the time, all of the elites, I believe were the guinea pigs for injury treatment and prevention. All or most of my success was done prior to pro running. I relied on the goodness of peoples heart and shared knowledge about injury prevention. LOL! Though not always heeded.

Now, if I was an up and coming athlete today, I think I would have had more available. However, I don't know if the spirit of things would be the same.

A:

I'd imagine so, yeah. When we sold for other venues we had to charge the full TM fee set.


Q:

We actually haven't yet seen it. I (EG) just saw the documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy and loved it. I laughed, I cried.

A:

Hi! Splinter Cell is a brand we talk about a lot. It's also personally one of my favorite series. We don't have anything specific to share at the moment but teams are working on different things, so stay tuned for more.


Q:

First, I would like to thank you for helping pave the way in women's athletics. I just started running about three years ago and have been nothing but supported by my friends, family, and the running community, and I feel very thankful that I didn't have to face the same kind of challenges to competing that you and other leading women did.

Second, I was wondering how many years it took you to build up to 120 mpw. Obviously at seven miles for your first run, you've got a solid head start on most of the population. Did you jump pretty quickly into the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and then take a longer time to build up from there or did you find yourself well-suited to high mileage very early on?

If you ever find yourself on reddit again, we'd love to have you hang out with us over at /r/advancedrunning!

A:

Also, check the websites of your local free Alt-Newsweeklies and magazines (the free ones that have local stories and culture, like The Village Voice) they almost all have deals with all of the local venues (it's how they survive) and you can get fee-free tickets!


Q:

We actually haven't yet seen it.

Then it's not too late for you then... I still remember the days back when I still had a faint light of innocence shining in my heart. Bill Nye Saves The World took that from me... he took it from all of us...

A:

Are you the Grand Master of the Templar Order?


Q:

I was always pretty well suited to long distances...I've been working hard since I was a kid, it just...happened, lol! Your MPW was a badge, and you broke up into groups of what miles you were doing per week...I wanted to be one of the people who did 100+ miles a week, they seemed so cool and respected.

I did a lot of 150 miles a week. I think the most I ever did was 215. I'm not an ultra-marathon runner, I wish I had known about it during my career...I wanted to do a 50 miler, but my coach said no...why did they always say no? I was a little concerned about my recovery because I had races on the books that I needed to perform well in.

These days, a marathon is just about as long as I'll go. I'll train hard to prepare for a marathon, but I'm not interested in racing distance higher than that.

I'd love to be a part of your subreddit! Thank you for letting me know! Today was my first day on reddit and my daughter showed me all the different fitness subreddits there are...I think I'll be here a bit! I can learn a lot! :)

A:

He was checking out the Village Voice, seeing who was playing where

Pulled his head up out the paper, pushing out a single tear

Five words like a beacon of light in the mist

Ministry Live At The Ritz


Q:

Yeah, we understand it didn't go so well.

 

I've been a lurker on Reddit for years, saw the negative comments and it broke my heart. I was concerned it might impact the original series and I'd hate to see the show removed from the curriculum of some school districts because it is still such an effective teaching tool.(jm)

A:

I believe in free will...


Q:

Awesome!! /r/AdvancedRunning would definitely love hearing from you.

A:

What "insider tips" do you have to get good tickets? Can I bribe a Ticketmaster employee for good seats?? :-)


Q:

I wouldn't worry about that too much. It may have hurt Bill's reputation a bit, but the original series will stand for a long time as a standard for getting kids excited about science. You guys did an amazing job.

A:

Do you enjoy games other than the ones made by Ubisoft?


Q:

By the way...thank you so much! I'm so glad you're a runner...the running community can be so wonderful and supportive. :)

A:

It doesn't really work that way anymore, unfortunately, at least according to my experience. A lot of it's the usual "get in early and get lucky".

With casino tickets specifically, though, there is the VIP angle to consider. Good casinos reward their players really well, and for us in particular we had presales a day before public sales just for our players. Also, depending on circumstances we'd sometimes get tickets back from our VIP folks for sale if they just weren't doing the numbers they expected, which would lead to some last minute openings- usually in the primo seats too, just because the VIPs get the good stuff to keep them coming back.


Q:

Thank you so much, that means a lot. (jm and eg)

A:

I travel a lot for work, but thanks to the Switch I’ve been able to play Zelda. It’s a great game and we can learn a lot about how we make games by looking at what Nintendo has done.

For Ubisoft games, Rayman will always have a place in my heart because of its importance in Ubisoft’s history and because I played it a lot with my kids. I’m still playing From Dust, and I’m excited about all the different motor vehicles you can play with in The Crew 2.


Q:

What are your tips for staying motivated through a long training cycle? Starting marathon cycle #2 on Saturday and am hoping to avoid the mental fatigue that destroyed me in the last 7-8 weeks of cycle #1. Thanks for sharing your story and your advice!

A:

The best deal I ever got on a ticket was actually not long ago. A few months actually, for an event happening next week. Ticketmaster ran an "official exchange" program (stubhub essentially) for the event since all the wristbands are registered to names and a lot of people got screwed over by other sites since they were relying on the original purchaser to send them the ticket once they got it.

Anyways, someone fucked up... Hard. The seller accidentally fat fingered​ the price and typed 55.55$ instead of 555.50$ (facevalue was 800$). The seller was supposed to have a 24hr period that he could change the pricing, but I bought the ticket before that could happen. I was so shocked by my luck I even called Ticketmaster to make sure it wasn't fake and was told that I was good to go and all tickets are garunteed.

Fast forward to the next day. I receive a call from Ticketmaster and they asked me to give the ticket back. I honestly was a bit pissed at this point because I and already been told that I was good to go and they'd handle the situation. I asked the guy why they suddenly changed their minds and he explained everything I said in the first paragraph. My response was that it seemed like they owed that man a ticket but mine was already garunteed and I didn't see how this was my problem since in multiple places on their website it said it was garunteed and that all purchases were final. I know this because I read everything I could about it the previous night. After telling him this he said he'd talk to his manager and figure it out.

Gotta call 4 hours later saying I could keep the ticket and that they'd be giving that guy a ticket back as well... I felt like an asshole but fuck Ticketmaster even more


Q:

You guys seemed to create the genre of E/I television shows at the time. I'm sure budgets were tight. Did you have difficulty getting funding for a series?

A:

What's the most difficult thing you've had to do as CEO?


Q:

Congratulations!! That's hard...mental fatigue is a killer. Motivation and sticking to a goal is what always helped me. Some kind of motion, even a small motion, is still moving forward. Taking care of yourself nutritionally is also important...good fuel and good training helps with fatigue. By the end of your cycle, being mentally tired is going to be your hardest barrier...long term goals can seem so far away and giving up can seem closer. Try to break up your training in terms of short term, midterm, and long term goals. Short term is...hmm. "Today, I am going to run five miles."

I recently remeasured what I thought was an 8 mile loop..turns out it's much shorter. I was so bummed until the hubby pointed out that even though my distance is wrong, my times have still gotten better. I'm a minute and a half faster than I was two months ago. Things like that are good intermediate goals. Like "A month from now, I'm going to be twenty seconds faster".

I hope that helped! Thank you so much for your question, I wish you the best of luck!! :)

A:

Hey man, you did nothing wrong there. More power to you.


Q:

YES (both of us)

A:

Hi there, it would probably be decisions about which projects to persue and which ones to cancel. Telling a team who've been focused on a project for several years that they won't be able to continue it is very tough. However what I have seen is when we do cancel projects it is almost always for the best, it gives us an opportunity to learn to refine our ideas and come up with better games.


Q:

What tribe are you from? Do you ever go to reservations and speak to the children/people?

I think this is so inspiring. We have a womens running group on my reservation and we participate in many runs. From 5ks-100 milers.

A:

Interesting! I also worked at a box office at a casino that used Ticketmaster, but we absolutely had control over some of the good seats to an extent. Couldn't be super obvious about it and wouldn't do it on super popular shows. But we held tickets for so many different things - media, community (tribe), artist, giveaways, VIP, business council, etc. with so many good seats on hold, if the community seats weren't selling well it was super easy to just swap out the community holds and get someone tickets in the first 5 rows. We also had the ability to go in and snag tickets before the presale/on sale although that was a huge no no and fire-worthy so people didn't do it very often. I'm also curious if your VIPs were crabs about it haha! I remember so many people feeling so entitled to tix in the first 10 rows, who were not anywhere near our highest level of play. Fun to read your answers though! Thanks for doing this!


Q:

Did you think that years after the show was cancelled, kids would still be screaming "BILL BILL BILL BILL" every opportunity they got? That song is like 90s kids national anthem.

A:

When one of your teams has been working on a game for years, what would make you change your mind and come to the decision that the project has to be stopped? I'm only asking out of curiosity!


Q:

I am Mi'kmaq, my tribe is in Maine and Nova Scotia! My kids are Mi'kaq and Chickasaw. I just recently was in Santa Fe speaking at the W.I.N.G.'s of America Coaches Conference, at the American Institute for Indian Arts. I love to go to reservations and talk to an encourage kids. I've been traveling since my daughters was 8 weeks old, she went to her first reservation in Bemidji, Minnesota, we went to Red Lake.

I'm so glad you have a group!! 100 milers...WOW! That's so awesome. It's so necessary for our communities to be active. I carry diabetes and heart disease in my family, it's such an issue...we need to be proactive.

A:

Yeah no problem!

We had a bunch of those holds too, definitely. It wasn't at all uncommon to get a handful of holds back here or there, but just as often we would use up all the holds and sell out.


Q:

Never imagined the success of the original show. We talked about the show being relevant for 3-5 years, max. Almost 25 years later, to have so many millennials say they got into science from the series is so amazing to me. And just a shout out to Mike Green, composer of the theme song.-(jm)

A:

Changes in the industry either competition or technology are definitely a factor. Similarly the breakthrough that we thought we had may no longer be relevant and sometimes we do realize that we are unable to execute what we had hoped to achieve.


Q:

Through your years of competition and training what injuries would you say are most common? I know that many people warn about knee issues but I never really hear many athletes themselves complain about knee problems.

A:

How could you recognize professional ticket scalpers? Did they ever try to bribe you?


Q:

What are some funny bloopers or accidents that occurred while filming the show with Bill Nye?

A:

What is your personal opinion on Rainbow Six Siege?


Q:

Hmmm...good question...I am a toe-striker when I run, so I had a lot of foot and lower leg problems. Achilles and plantar fasciitis were common with a lot of the people I ran with. I struggled with that, too. Shin splints...my hubby had a stress fracture in his navicular bone that he had for ten years. Those are pretty common as well.

A:

A lot of times we didn't really care- once the ticket's been sold we have no way to police what you do with it (and honestly probably shouldn't, there's very little fundamental difference between giving a ticket to a friend and selling it on the internet beyond the exchange of money).

Back when we were able to do outside sales for other venues we'd get a guy coming in every once in awhile around 10am PST, right when shows went on sale. Dude's name was Dave, he scalped and knew TM back to front (he showed me where to find the macro commands and whatnot). Nice guy, we knew what he was doing but as far as our "jurisdiction" went he was a guest buying tickets. We didn't really have the ability to deny him tickets or anything like that.

There's significantly less power to combat scalping at the cashier's end than people seem to think there is. We're not paid to guess what you're going to do with your tickets, we're here to sell you tickets.


Q:

There were a few moments of pure terror that I remember. For the rivers show, we watched as Bill paddled right into some hole in the current and disappeared. He was gone for about 18 seconds and I remember the panic. The safety boat was already below him! Suddenly he popped up and just continued on as if nothing happened.

Another time, for the Forest show, we got lost in the middle of a monster forest fire. Well, we had to shoot something, so Bill jumped out of the van and we started rolling. A huge fir tree exploded into flames right over our heads and started raining a shower of fire. I turned to Jen, our PA and asked her to back the van up and I still can see the pure terror in her eyes. We lived...(JM)

Bill was invited to fly with the Blue Angels. They warned us that the guest usually passes out from the g forces. We decided that Bill should focus on trying to say simple words like "Flight!" and "Science!" They knocked him out three times, once for about 22 seconds. Each time he woke up, he'd yell "Science!"and then pass out again. Here's a picture of him getting strapped in! http://imgur.com/NXrb64r (EG)

A:

I love it! It's the first time that we have seen that level of engagement and passion around a game we've created.


Q:

Thanks for doing this!

Did you ever suffer from plantar fasciitis? If so, how long did you usually take to recover? I'm having issues right now. Going to PT for a couple weeks but hasn't seemed to get too much better. It's really discouraging having such bad pain in my feet after 10 minutes that I need to stop even though I feel like I'm just getting started.

A:

Why don't you care about people abusing the system


Q:

Do you have a favourite episode or project of Bill's that you worked on?

A:

What is it like working with Shigeru Miyamoto?


Q:

Follow DR's orders. My rule of thumb is always "If you can run, run. If you can't, DON'T." I ruptured my plantar fascia and I had surgery to have to reattached, which is more painful to recover from...I ruptured it in December at the Tuft's track, and had surgery at the end of Febuary. I didn't take a step towards running till September...and promptly got a stress fracture. (My first one).

I'm so sorry...it's so hard. Stretch, ice, and heat. Wear a lift in your shoe if you can. It shortens the muscle in your calf and relieve some of the pain. Recover will take a while...tendons are very fibrous with very low blood flow. It takes me 45 minutes to stretch out my calves...it's a process.

I use a homemade ointment that's peppermint, lavender, and lemongrass, mixed with coconut oil. I drink hawthorne tea for inflammation, too.

It'll just take time. You can do it! :) (And don't swim. Or bike. Stay off your feet as much as possible.)

A:

Me specifically? It's not my job.

The venue? We didn't really have a way to easily police it without seriously diminishing the guest experience with some form of check at entry, which would slow down an already glacial process at times. Add to that that it's not a huge venue that gets sold out immediately and there's no real reason to focus on that over other improvements elsewhere.


Q:

We did 100 episodes in four years. It was crazy and I really have to say there were so many different moments and episodes.... Wetlands stands out to me, personally. I love swamps. Also, the Watercycle show. The kid in the music video still brings a tear to my eye. We also spent two weeks in Japan in one of the most incredible science adventures one could imagine. Here's a picture of me in Japan on this adventure... they made me stay in the outfit the entire time. http://imgur.com/7nwK8E8 (JM)

 

One of my fave episodes is The Eyeball - great sketch - props - music video, I think it was one of the few times we got a scathing letter about how someone's daughter went running from the room because she saw a glass eye in one of the profiles (EG)

A:

Hello! What is fantastic about working with Nintendo and with Miyamoto in particular is that you are working with the best. It's easy to work with the smartest people in the industry and they have a great understanding of what works and we are very often on the same page about how to solve a problem.


Q:

Whoa! Seems like you've had quite the life :) any plans to write an autobiography?

A:

ive been doing that for almost 3 years! my theater is going dark for 3 months now and i am jobless try as i might.

which ticketmaster did you use? we had an old school version TMWin99


Q:

What do you think it was that set BNSG apart from other shows such as Beakman's World?

A:

How does one become a CEO? What was your early life like?


Q:

No, not really. I had a book planned for awhile, but writing isn't my gift...I like to tell stories. That's why I do speaking engagements. Storytelling is important to my tribe, and also to me. :)

A:

Yeah, we used the old-school DOS-ass TMWin99. When I was training people I always said it's like using a program written in Swahili or something- you can learn a phrase or two and learn your way around to do some basic stuff, but beyond that it's really tough to figure out unless you've been doing it forever. It's a lot of rote memorization and repetition, which takes new guys a while to figure out.


Q:

Bill was a real scientist.

A:

To become a CEO I would say pick a fast growing industry you are interested in, surround yourself with the best and work hard!


Q:

What's on your workout playlist?

A:

next??: reclas cff0923/x1/rd/s4-7


Q:

Were you ever approached about working on the new show? I would think if they were going for a reboot then they would want your opinions. At this point the new show is destroying what you guys helped Bill create, he needs you guys to come back to him and recreate the magic you once had!

A:

Hi Yves,

what old game would you want to be remastered with today's graphics ?


Q:

I didn't listen to music until my daughter helped me with Spotify...lol! She made me a playlist. I listen to the Beach boys...Queen..."We Are the Champions" was my song back in '80 and '81, I still listen to it today. I also play Pokemon Go a lot, and the background music is pretty fun to run to. (I like to hatch eggs while I run...Wilson loves the music, he gets so excited whenever he hears it.)

A:

But I wanted the aisle. You have the aisle right?


Q:

Thanks - we were never approached though always happy to help out (eg)

A:

I would say Far Cry 3 on the Xbox One X would be amazing :)


Q:

I let my jogging habit lapse when I moved away from the park I ran in, but today I got out of bed and jogged half a mile because I saw a Pokemon I wanted. Pokemon Go is one of the best things that ever happened for my motivation!

A:

Sigh... (types in a string of code to release print flag and start all over!)


Q:

How important do you think striking a balance between entertaining your audience and informing them is? Was there ever a time or topic where you found it difficult to keep it fun enough for kids to stay glued to the TV but still educate them?

A:

Comment comptez-vous lutter contre Bolloré dans le futur ?

How do you intend to deal with Bolloré/Vivendi (a French industrial group which planned to takeover Ubisoft) ?

Source : https://www.gamespot.com/articles/vivendi-will-reportedly-pursue-a-ubisoft-takeover-/1100-6449572/


Q:

YES!! I love Pokemon Go! I'm getting candies for my Snorlax to power him up (he's so cute). I'm a level 30, my husband is a level 33, and my daughter is a level 25. We're all Team Valor! What team are you? :)

A:

That's why you use the shopping cart in SELL and hold onto that shit until you're SURE they've made up their damn minds.


Q:

Good question. Bill leaned more to education, we leaned more to entertainment, a constant battle so to speak. We always felt if they are not having fun they will tune out. Bill kept us on point with the message. We always tried to present different ways to learn, I (EG) got the most out of the sketch/humor parts, so I always leaned towards that. Bill always had great real world analogies. There were times we felt a show might be a little flat and then it went thru audio post at Bad Animals and we were always cracking up in the final review.

A:

Freedom and independence are key to what we do – they are what allow us to take risks, try new things, and create games like the ones we showed during E3 this year. We will fight to continue to be able to keep doing that in the future.


Q:

Are you enjoying the new summer solstice Pokémon event? How do you think it compares to the other events?

A:

when i was first training i wrote a python code that printed and responded to TM commands so i could practice. building it also was super fun and probably helped me learn it faster. wish i still had the code.


Q:

What did you think of Beakman's World?

A:

What is your most beloved franchise within Ubisoft? (Not just now, all over the past 30 years)


Q:

I hasn't it hit yet...is it out? Hmm, I only got Shellanders today. in a row. And not good ones.

A:

Yeah, coding's never been my strong suit. Glad you figured out a way to pick it up quickly though, that shit gets complex.


Q:

Very high production quality. We were so bummed when we first heard about the show actually hitting the airwaves before us, we thought we were doomed. But then we said - hey - there's more than one Oprah, as in talk shows....can there really be too many kid science shows out there. We embraced it. (eg)

A:

It's tough to choose by I would say Assassin's Creed because it gives me an opportunity to explore history. But I love all our games so it's very tough to pick.


Q:

I started running in 1977 as I was entering High School, and I remember reading about your running exploits in Runners World. For fun, I just dug up this old cover, from the days when the magazine featured top runners like you.

My questions:

1) Are you still running? If so, do you ever race anymore? What's your training like. I've taken to alternating running days with swimming/lifting days as an accommodation to my age. I'm slower than I was, but I've been able to stay healthy well into my 50's

2) What was the biggest change in the state of women's running during your peak years? How about between then and now?

A:

Used to work with Ticketmaster too, but at a venue. I actually sort of enjoyed TMWin99. Autypes ftw.


Q:

How was Bill off camera? How much did he play up his personality?

A:

How do you deal with the negative comments from so many players about your games?


Q:

(Oh, the L'Egs Mini! I got 2nd there. Thank you for finding that cover! I love it.)

Yes, I am still running, thank you for asking! I am working towards some long term goals and am just starting to train again. I have never stopped running. Right now, I'm building a foundation, so I'm having body work done (30 year old scar tissue torn up, thanks Art Jaffe). Spiral technique body work has been helping me immensely...my feet aren't strong enough yet to do burpees, but I' going to include pushups and situps and things like that back into my regimen.

I'm going to be racing the Johnny Kelly road race in August, thank you for asking!! It's one of the oldest free races in the United States, it's 11.6 miles, and my family and I have been going for 17 years. This will be my first time running it, and I'm so pumped and excited!!

As for the biggest change, I would say Title IX happened. I vaguely remember the big hoopla about it. Lots of people weren't happy (mostly men). Which was always surprising to me, because in the running community, it was men who usually encouraged and supported me...but they were all bent out of shape, LOL.

As for between then and now...money. $$. Money happened. It was okay for women to make a living in sports, especially running...especially LONG distance running. The floodgates opened when Joanie won the first gold medal in the marathon, and the races were on. It's improved the sport, in my opinion.

A:

Only ever learned WCPRTDOS, honestly. I still keep in touch with everyone I worked with so if you know any good ones I'll send them their way to mess with.


Q:

On camera, Bill played the Science Guy. Off camera, Bill was Bill Nye, human- one that loves, laughs and is passionate about what he does. To be on camera, you have to push that personality.

A:

Hi there, first things first I read them! I very often dispatch and share them with our teams with my comments and I think they help us prioritise what we need to fix and get a good insight into the biggest concerns of our communities.


Q:

Would you rather have Prefontaine's flowing locks or Mills's buzz cut?

A:

Why did they switch to Ticketmaster?

Did Ticketmaster convince them to through a sales pitch or did they just go out and select the most famous and biggest broker without looking at all the competitors of Ticketmaster?

Why did they no longer sell in house? What reason did they give?


Q:

Wasn't bill nye the science guy on pbs?

A:

After Berlin, do you have actual plans to open further studios globally in the nearest future?


Q:

Good question! I was just reading about Craig Engels this morning...love his hair. Hmm. I liked both runners, they both ran with heart, I have so much respect for both of them.

When Danny and I first got married, he had a ponytail, lol! I'd have to say long hair...I still wear it down when I run.

A:

We still sold in house, we just used an in-house ticketing system that worked in tandem with the room reservation system before (I think it was called Showgate) and switched to all Ticketmaster in tandem with a major remodel about two years back. The difference in show quality was noticeable- we were getting good shows before, but we jumped from D-listers on average to B-listers. No Taylor Swift or Metallica or whatever, but still a lot bigger draws that pulled in a lot more sales. I'm willing to bet a lot of them got on board because their agents or record labels or whatever work exclusively through Ticketmaster. Like it or not, they opened doors.


Q:

Yes both PBS and syndicated on network affiliates, as well as internationally

A:

We have to go where we can find the best talent! We're always looking for very talented engineers, so I would be happy to open a studio anywhere we can find great people :)


Q:

Great write up for the introduction!

At the end you said you're restarting your career. Does that mean your running career? If yes, is there anywhere you post online as to how you are progressing, that I can follow and keep track of?

All the best!

A:

Might as well get the obvious out of the way - what's your best and worst customer experience stories?


Q:

Why did the show end?

A:

What are some of the key things you look for when being presented with a new game idea?


Q:

Thank you. My daughter raven has a lot to do with the introduction. She's my girl!

Yes, my running career. I have a long term goal. but right now the short term is taking precedent. Strengthening feet, ankles and lower legs.

I haven't thought about keeping track. Hmm. Good idea.

A:

Best is kinda hard, just because I'm usually pretty happy when a customer is just a normal dude. One that comes to mind is this blind guy that called us every once in awhile to have us read the show schedule to him. He usually called when it was slow so I didn't really mind taking the time to talk, and he was extremely friendly and liked to share stories about shows he'd seen. Normally people who share stories get dull, but I loved talking to him.

Worst is a lot easier- this one guy came up a year or so before we remodeled, when the seat plan was a bunch of tables and booths. The booths seated 4, but there was one at the perfect spot that seated 8. It was the owner's booth, as in The Owner Of The Casino Sits Here So Do Not Fucking Sell This To Anyone.

This guy comes up one day dressed like he was late to his job as an extra for Tom Cruise's character in Tropic Thunder (only with hair) and asks for the owner's booth for a show. I told him no, I'm sorry, we can't sell that booth, and he drops a $100 bill on the countertop like he just unlocked the keys to the kingdom. I told him no again, then he started getting all kinds of huffy with me, trying to bargain and stuff. Eventually he goes "look, just get me your manager", so I turn around to my manager (who's standing right behind me talking to his boss and heard the whole thing) and ask if he can help. The guy tries the same shit again with my manager like five times and eventually, while I'm standing right there, points at me and goes "Come on, I'm trying to show him what it's like to have money."

Obviously not a guest that flung shit at me or threatened me or anything, but that one's really stuck with me. Casinos get a lot of entitled guests, it comes with the VIP rewards program, but that was fucking insulting.


Q:

Funding. We got up to 85 episodes in the can and Disney said no more. Our Exec Elizabeth Brock brilliantly went to PBS and said Disney wants to fund 15 more to get us to 100 episodes. Then she went back to Disney and said PBS wants to fund 15 more episodes...so they both kicked in and we made it to 100 episodes and then money dried up. (eg)

A:

Thanks for your question. I look for a few important things. I want to know what I’m going to learn about myself and the world by playing this game, is the game rich enough that am I going to want to play for a long time and that it’s engaging enough that I’ll want to progress. I also want to know if I can play with my friends and in a way that each person can bring something unique to the experience. Lastly I look for an innovation brought by the game that has the potential to disrupt the industry.


Q:

Hello! You seem a wonderful person! I'm not a runner (i play tennis though) and I really admire what you do! I can't run half an hour whithout feeling dead, lol. My questions are 1)What advice would you give to a young athlete? 2)Which books would you recommend? (not related to running, sorry) 3)How do you deal with exhaustion? It's a huge problem for me. Thank you very much for this AMA! Love from Italy!

A:

"One that comes to mind is this blind guy that called us" -> ".. liked to share stories about shows he'd seen."

i feel terrible but was he always blind or..?


Q:

Why was the part about chromosomes determining gender taken out of the Netflix version of the series?

A:

Quick follow-up question to you saying you look for unique multiplayer experience, does that mean you aren't necessarily interested in pursuing any style of single player and or campaign heavy titles? Also thanks for taking time to do an AMA


Q:

Thank you.

CIAO!!!! :)

For a young athlete..play. Play, play, play. Keep it simple. Have fun. Learn the basics and when you do you can apply them to any and all sports. Soccer is super for body strengthening.

Exhaustion. Know it well. I'd say sleep, but being overtired one can not sleep. When I was training I had to teach myself to shut down and I had to learn to sleep. Crazy.

Now I meditate . Yeah, I had to focus and I try to meditate everyday. Five minutes a day. It's nice. MY daughter wants me to do Tai Chi. So I think I'll take her up on that as It's better for me to have movement while letting go and be within...(sounds good huh).

Also I have found that certain foods help calm the body and sleep won't be too far off. Chick peas, bananas, walnuts, almonds. I personally will have raw local honey with chamomile tea with cheese and crackers.

I found the above helped me a great deal. I suffered ...insomnia...

A:

No idea. Weird language on my end, my bad. We've gotten blind people coming in before, they just take the cheap seats way in the back since the sound's good through the whole place.


Q:

We were as surprised to hear about this as anyone. We actually found out about it through Reddit comments. We have no idea who did the edit. (jm)

A:

One of the things I am proud of is that we have something in our line-up for many types of players and this is something we will continue to develop. We will still make games that are only solo or only multiplayer as long as they provide super rich and engaging experiences.


Q:

When you started the Be Nice To Patti Campaign, how did you go about setting personal boundaries and not giving in to those, especially in personal and professional relationships?

A:

So what did your boss end up doing to show him what it's like to have money?

Did he take him out back and kneecap him like the good old days of the Casinos?

Did he take him to the high rollers room and let him see thousands of dollars being poured into a single tug on the Helllooooo machines?

Did he show him the vault then kick him out?

I'm burning with questions as to how this ended.


Q:

Who would win in a fight, Bill Nye, or Mr. Wizard?

A:

I've heard it said multiple ways. I'd like to know from the source. What is the correct pronunciation of the word Ubisoft?


Q:

I loved running so much, and how it made me feel, that by not going out after work for a drink with my coworkers, I didn't miss my run. I used to go out every night and drink Schlitz...I didn't let other people dictate my happiness. My run and the feeling I got during and after my run was the most important thing. I wouldn't let anything or anybody jeopardize that.

A:

Nah, see, that's the old school. These days that kneecapping stuff is, yknow, a crime. Instead we just chucked pennies at him and called him names.

Really though we just kinda kept refusing until he got pissed and asked for the casino manager. Gladly gave him the number so that guy could tell him no too.


Q:

Hands down Bill Nye (cuz Mr Wizard is dead) eg

A:

Hi... we actually made a video about this last year, you can see it here >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU61WkEVFWY


Q:

How do you feel pregnancy impacts women's ability to sustain top class performance? I've read some articles suggesting it can actually improve performance post-pregnancy.

A:

Tropic Thunder is still one of the greatest movies of the past few decades


Q:

How did you pick Nye?

Were there other candidates with more academic credentials passed over in favor of Nye's stage presence?

A:

I saw the gameplay for Assassin's creed origins and it looked amazing. Can't wait to play it! But can you please tell me as why the pirate aspect of assassin's creed was removed and made into a seperate game (skull & bones) ?


Q:

Yeah, I've read articles about that too. I don't know. Personally I had kids late, and I'm thankful I had a healthy body and could have my kids in my 40s. These days (I'm 64), I want to get back to top-class, back to my top form, and I don't know where it's going to take me, but I'm reading everything I can and pulling out everything I know.

A:

Black Dynamite tho


Q:

We all worked together at KING-TV in Seattle. There was no picking. It just was. (EG)

A:

Hi there, for Skull and Bones it really needed a full team dedicated to that specific type of gameplay to create the best pirate game possible.


Q:

I seem to be having a problem getting back into running. When I was in my 20s I ran 5km a day no problem. Now every time I go to run my smoke seems to go out and I have to stop and relight it every 100m. Do you have any advice?

A:

My rule is always accept free money. Never be bribed. I would have pocketed his hundred and asked him if he would like a different seat.


Q:

Did you guys get a slice of Saves The World? You deserve, at minimum, a nibble.

A:

Obviously a long shot, but would it be possible to meet you at E3?

So excited to see all of Ubisoft's projects at E3!


Q:

I identify with you. It's hard to start and restart, it's just really hard. Stick to it, that's my advice. Be consistent. Set a goal for yourself, even if that goal is just running for fifteen minutes without stopping. It takes time, and you may get frustrated, but if you stick with it, you'll see progress.

A:

I would absolutely have considered it were it not for the two bosses standing beside me and the cameras covering every square inch of floor space.


Q:

you're very kind, but no. (eg)

A:

If you see me on the booth please come say hello!


Q:

I am half Sioux. Hello!!!

What is your favorite part of Native culture that doesn't get enough general spotlight in the US? Mine is the vibrancy and humor of the Native community:)

A:

Point taken. That must have been frustrating.


Q:

Hey guys, I think we may have a mutual connection with the fellow standing on the far left of that photo you're holding. Spencer McCulloh here. Didn't expect to see you two on Reddit this morning! But anyways here my question haha. How did Bill Nye end up being the science guy for the show?

A:

Google has this thing called Google 20% which is set up to allow to spend 20% of employees time to work on their own projects and ideas instead of what they're hired to do. This encourages innovation. Does Ubisoft have anything in place for encouraging innovation?

P.S Not just for employees, do you allow other people to pitch you ideas and how have you made it easy for them to do it. Do you try and do anything to make their ideas or projects a reality? what's the best way to approach you with an idea?


Q:

Music is pretty cool. Love Carlos Nakai.

A:

I was too busy being extremely pissed at that guy for being an incredible asshole, honestly.


Q:

Hey there! To answer your question, he was born into it. (eg)

A:

Thanks for the question! At Ubisoft what we try to do, when we can, is take ideas that people have and then try to make that 100% of their job. For instance Star Link which we announced yesterday came out of a Game Jam we had in Toronto and we were able to make that into a full project, For Honor was also a passion project that we were able to turn into a reality. And it has happened for many games we've published over the years!


Q:

What do you think about during long runs? Does your mind just kind of empty and you go through the motions?

A:

liked to share stories about shows he'd seen heard.


Q:

Hey guys! Big thank you for Bill Nye the Science Guy. I grew up watching it for my middle school science curriculum (I was homeschooled). I probably wouldn't have gotten my degree in Chemistry in college otherwise. Big thank you!

For your new show, have you had pushback in regards to finances being too "adult and boring" to teach kids?

A:

What are the requirements if I wanted to be a game designer for ubisoft?


Q:

These days, more or less. I listen to Spotify. The whole neighborhood does because I hate headphones, lol.

A:

There we go.


Q:

You went on to be a scientist because of the show? Thank you! That was the plan.

We were working on the idea of a financial literacy show for years called Financial Genius. We met our Canadian partner, Jeannine Glista, with her idea for a show on kid entrepreneurs called Biz Kid$. Now, we do about five stories on kids and their money per episode, all wrapped around one general theme.

So many kids think they can't do this, but when you see where some of these kids come from and the ways they are building their financial futures, it can be mind blowing. Some have become multi-millionaires. And I think if these kids can do it, anybody can. (JM)

A:

If you don’t have any experience in the industry a great way to start is as a game tester. After that, more and more we are seeing the emergence of game design as something that can be formally studied. Since the video game industry moves so fast, keeping an eye out for what new skills are required can also be a good strategy. Lastly, for Ubisoft, we look for people who are enthusiastic about games and dedicated to their work. In other words, we look for passion, imagination and expertise.


Q:

I love your story and it really inspired me as somebody who's intro to running was similar to yours. At what point did you decide to start training for races? Did something or somebody inspire you to start racing, or was it more of a spontaneous decision?

A:

blind guy

shows he’s seen

( ಡ ﹏ ಡ)


Q:

"Eat your crust Richie" is still one of my favorite quotes of all time.

How do you feel knowing that whenever the big tube tv was rolled into a science classroom, everyone in the room knew that we were going to watch the Science Guy, and we were all over the moon?

A:

Is there any moment during the day when you don't think about Ubisoft? What else do you think about?


Q:

Hi. Thank you!

I was inspired to race the Boston Marathon by the group of guys I saw at the Quincy Y. I started running March 28. The Boston Marathon was in April. Listning to their "war" stories I wanted to do it too.

One of the guys said I had to qualify for the Marathon. Hm, I thought I had to run a marathon to prove I could do a marathon..hmm. OK...But the guy planted a seed by saying I didn't have to worry about qualifying time because the women had more time allowance.

A few months laater I entered the Ocean State Marathon in Newport, RI. I ran my first marathon after a few months of running and losing 52 lbs. I qualified for Boston by running a 2:53:40. Under the men's standard. (hehe) Not planned at all.

I thought for sure I'd die of a heart attack during the race.

A:

i cri everytim


Q:

Like a proud momma! That is one of my favorite quotes as well as is "keeping shaking science guy the sapphires fall to the bottom" (eg)

A:

My family and friends of course… and when I need to clear my mind I love to get on my Harley motorcycle and do road trips in Europe and the US.


Q:

What became of the girl who inspired you?

A:

I'm sure it was that guy personally pocketing your after tax dollars and laughing maniacally.


Q:

What was it like working with Bill?

A:

What's your favorite kind of cheese 🧀?


Q:

Good question. I don't know. After I took care of her mom during her stay at the hospital, I never saw her again.

:(

A:

That was basically my job description for the casino, yeah. Also the toilet clogging in your room was my fault, I spent the service fee money on six gallons of chili the night before.


Q:

He was an excellent talent, did anything we asked, took direction well. And like the energizer bunny...he kept going and going.It was the perfect team. We all felt we had a mission (to nudge the world as Bill would say) it was a very passionate group, over worked and under paid. (EG)

A:

I would say Époisses de Bourgogne! You can see it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89poisses_de_Bourgogne


Q:

Running cured my knee problems too. Just keep running I know omg can never stop or I will fall apart.

A:

oh, even if it's true, you really shouldn't say things like that on the internet. That just encourages even more people to be assholes acting entitled to something.


Q:

I have been wanting to ask this for YEARS: Who is responsible for the Drew Barrymore sketch? That was absolutely brilliant.

A:

Hi Yves!! I love watching you speak at E3, your enthusiasm for your company and games in general really comes out!

What would you say is the most important quality in a game? Story telling? Mechanics? World-building?

Also, AC: Origins looks incredible!!


Q:

Behind my knee and would pinch once in awhile.

A:

I said it in the other response to this, it doesn't really change what I offer (I'm always out to find people the best seats possible), just the level of customer service I provide. For assholes, it's pretty much just "polite and to the point" to get it over with faster.


Q:

It was very impromptu. There was a script Jim can't remember if he wrote it, or Bill, or one of our writers.... but here is an old photo of Drew and Jim together! http://imgur.com/ExAfApD (EG)

A:

For us the world, systems and the gameplay mechanics are key to building a great game!


Q:

there are actually 6 muscles in your thigh that have been discovered now! 2 are rarely taught though. The newly discovered one is the tensor vastus intermedius! (i was in exercise therapy for a while so thought you might find it interesting)

A:

paid less in service fees buying it in person ($2.50 per as of the time I left)

BO wasn't service-fee-free? I've always figured box office was always the baseline "inconvenient" option to justify "convenience fees" for all the rest. Where I am it is-- no fees on buying at the venue.


Q:

Are there any statistics that detail the effects the Bill Nye show has had on young people? Is there any hard evidence that suggests there could be a trend between the amount of millennials pursuing science based degrees and professions and the original airing of your show?

A:

Which chocolate do you prefer?

  1. Swiss
  2. Belgian
  3. Whatever's melting on my tongue
  4. White, because I don't know what I'm talking about ;)

Q:

Really? That's so amazing!! My tensor fascia latae has been tight lately, but I have a guy who's working on it for me...Art Jaffe. Thank you!

A:

The $2.50 "facilities fee" was a very recent change. A month ago you'd have been right on the money. Dunno the thought process behind it.


Q:

I would absolutely love to see some statistics on the effects of the show. We hear from someone almost daily about how the show impacted their lives and they made a decision to go into a field of science because of it. That is very gratifying. (JM)

A:
  1. Swiss Dark Chocolate! I always have a stock on my desk for long meetings.

Q:

So my wife is a marathoner. She loves it to death. No question for you, but could you say hello? Thanks

A:

What about for a really popular show? My fear with going in person is that if you aren't at the front of the line at the box office when tickets go on sale that you'll end up with nothing. For a show that's likely to be a quick sell out is there any advantage to going to the box office or are you better off on the website?


Q:

Scientists like to debate almost everything. How did you deal with members of the scientiffic community taking issue with certain subjects that were covered on Bills show?

A:

What is your most played game? (ubisoft game and non-ubisoft game)


Q:

http://imgur.com/a/itfxH

Congratulations to your wife! Marathoning is wonderful.

A:

You're usually better off on the website. It's generally the fastest, even if you pay more.


Q:

The original Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy series had very little negative comments from the scientific community. At the time, we tried to do the best research our budget allowed. We had a team of qualified young science researchers and a broad based science advisory board. We did our best with the information available at the time. Now, of course, there is this thing called the internet... (JM)

A:

I travel a lot for work, but thanks to the Switch I’ve been able to play Zelda. It’s a great game and we can learn a lot about how we make games by looking at what Nintendo has done.

For Ubisoft games, Rayman will always have a place in my heart because of its importance in Ubisoft’s history and because I played it a lot with my kids. I’m still playing From Dust, and I’m excited about all the different motor vehicles you can play with in The Crew 2.


Q:

What's your favourite food that fits in a training regiment?

A:

Did you primarily do business in sports or theater sales where you were located? Always wondered what these jobs entailed, to be honest.


Q:

What were your first reactions when you met Bill in person?

A:

Can you tell those of us who couldn't be at E3 today what's comin' down the pipe from Ubisoft? Please and thank you!


Q:

Beer.

A:

Our venue did music and comedians mostly. Before we renovated a few years back we'd have amateur MMA live, which was interesting, but also tricky to handle since the theater wasn't designed for that sort of setup (since all the seats are on one side and whatnot).

The stage was actually enormous, which gives a lot of room for some of the real showmen that have come through (Alice Cooper, Empire of the Sun, and KISS come to mind) to work with cool set designs.


Q:

I thought he was cute (eg)

A:

We have plenty coming, if you haven't seen it yet I hope you can watch our E3 conference from yesterday >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q1s3lOzQ1A


Q:

What about solid food though?

A:

That's pretty cool...sounds like a neat venue for specialty events. Amateur MMA? That must have taken some logistics to get right as you alluded to...wonder how the turnout was.


Q:

Does science rule?

A:

What's the first game you've ever played?


Q:

LOL! Sweet potatoes. Love 'em.

A:

The turnout was alright for awhile, although they stopped working with us after the renovation. Dunno if they found a better place or what, but I don't mind. Those shows went on for hours and someone had to stick around till the last fight started so I was usually getting out after midnight.


Q:

Yes. I had a fear of science in high school. I met Bill and discovered how cool science can be. It changed my life! (JM)

A:

The first game I played was a Space Invaders arcade machine, which I loved!


Q:

I'm going to give them a shot. Anything to mix up the piles of rice I'm currently eating. Thanks for the tip.

A:

What was the average "convenience fee" for tickets there?


Q:

What do you think of the politicization of science in our culture?

I find it despicable and dangerous.

A:

Hello! You guys rocked E3 this year, the only one who did better IMO is nintendo, really good work :) now, I have to ask: Do you play other games in your free time? If so, what is your favorite non-ubisoft game that you are playing at this time?


Q:

I'm not a big rice eater. I like quinoa. I mix it with whatever I have on hand. Peppers, onions, cilantro and broccoli. I like the red quinoa.

Keep it happy.

A:

In person it was free, $3 extra per over the phone. Recently they added a $2.50 fee on top of that to everything, no clue why. Still dirt cheap in person.


Q:

The pilot episode of our series was funded by a Republican administration. The series was funded by a Democratic administration. This is one of those important discussions we should have over a beer. (JM)

This is not a one beer discussion. (EG)


Q:

Catalano? Do you have any Italian ancestors who had Catalan ancestors?

A:

How do companies feel about scalpers?


Q:

What is your favorite collectors edition?

A:

Nooo...my ex-husbands were Sicilian. :p


Q:

I really don't know anything from the legal side of things, but from a sales side we can't really do much about it beyond saying "hey don't scalp around us". Once you bought a ticket from us, we were hands-off: what you do with it after that is up to you. When people asked me I would always always always recommend against buying from them since I only ever saw it when it went south and someone got scammed, but that's as much influence as we had on it. We're not just gonna not sell to someone, no matter what we think they might do with the tickets.

A:

I really liked the For Honor collectors edition with the 3 helmets.


Q:

This is great! Thanks for doing this! I used to run around Quincy a lot, mostly by the water (I would pass the old Beachcomber), and had a nice 10k loop.

My question is: Do you wish you had the chance for the Olympics in 1980? I don't think they had the women's marathon until 1984 and there was the boycott in 1980, but maybe you could have made it in the 10K? Did you try at all for the '84 team?

A:

Have you ever done the water driving range at the GSR?


Q:

Thanks for the AMA! What would you say is Ubisoft's greatest masterpiece?

A:

That's so great! I used to go in front of the Y, all the way down Wallaston beach, to the Squatum Guard shack. Sometimes I'd go out and do the bridge, out and back. The police had their fire range out there, I think.

They didn't have my event in '80, so I didn't even have the Olympics on my radar...I knew my distance, and I knew I was a marathoner. And yes, I did try for the '84 team, I got 16th at the trials--to me, I just wanted to be on the line, I was tickled that I got to the trials themselves. I don't have any regrets. I wasn't raised with the Olympic attitude...everything I did in my career, I did to try and recapture that feeling I had in the locker room shower of the Y.


Q:

I haven't, golf was never really my thing. Went to the arcade as a kid and tried a bunch of the restaurants during my time there, though.


Q:

This is great! Thanks for doing this! I used to run around Quincy a lot, mostly by the water (I would pass the old Beachcomber), and had a nice 10k loop.

My question is: Do you wish you had the chance for the Olympics in 1980? I don't think they had the women's marathon until 1984 and there was the boycott in 1980, but maybe you could have made it in the 10K? Did you try at all for the '84 team?

A:

What was the busiest day of the week at work?

What was the slowest hour of the week?

What was the busiest hour of the day at work?

What was the slowest hour of the day?


Q:

The T-Rex because of the funny arms.

And the Dilophosaurus that killed Newman in Jurassic Park, :)

A:

It varied a lot- show days were almost universally busy, whereas any day that wasn't within a few days of a show was slow as hell.

I had days where I didn't speak to another person all day long, and then I had show nights where I sold nonstop for hours straight and on-sales where we didn't stop selling until we closed.


Q:

I read your awesome story in Reader's Digest back in the 1980's and always wondered how did you stay motivated to keep running? I recall you were a heavy smoker also? Thank you for the AMA.

A:

Was the turnover at the box office as bad as it was everywhere else at the GSR? Also, how did you feel about the horrible management?


Q:

Thank you for the question!! The first two years of my running, I smoked...a pack a day. Sometimes two. First thing in the morning, I would roll over and have a cigarette, my ashtray was right on my nightstand. I didn't really connect smoking with fitness...and besides, the best tasting cigarette I had was after my run. (I still miss it at times...LOL!)

When I finally got a coach, I would ask him questions..."how can I get faster...? How can I be better?"

He would say "Do pushups" so I did pushups. Then I'd ask "How can I run faster?" And he'd say "Do situps" so I did situps.

Then I asked "How can I get faster?" and he said "Well...quit smoking."

I was embarrassed, I didn't think he knew I smoked...I went back to my room and thought about it over a pack of cigarettes. And towards the end of the pack, I was more or less saying goodbye. It was a seriously sad moment in my life, because things were getting real...I was making a conscious decision to improve my life, and letting go of the cigarettes was a big part of my identity. I had been smoking since I was 14. But I did, cold turkey.

But it paid off. Three weeks later, I ran a half marathon and set a new American Record, 76:53! :) But it would take six months for the brown phlegm to stop coming up. (yuck)

A:

Turnover at the box office isn't as bad as something like the front desk, which was nonstop and dealt with complaints and was high-visibility. As far as management, I liked my direct superiors a lot, but more than a couple steps up the chain I didn't really hear from anyone. That could be a whole lot worse, but it wasn't great either.


Q:

Wow, that is incredible.

I started running 6 years ago as a Junior in high school. Since then, I have gained and lost weight, went to college, graduated, and got married. During that time, I was part of (and president of) a running club. I have had times when I ran and exercised quite a bit (too excessively, actually) and other times where I haven't ran or exercised much at all. I live in a place that is rainy/cloudy around half the year.

So, my questions to you are: 1. How do you find the healthy balance of how much to exercise? 2. What suggestions do you have for motivation to run when it is raining? 3. After having a break from running, what strategies do you have to get back in it?

Thank you!

A:

How often are you on Reddit and what are your favorite subreddits?


Q:

1) A healthy balance is whatever makes you feel good. I was always happiest when I was running two hours in the morning and two hours at night, and not have any pain or after effects...I still strive for that. But for some people, that is way too much. It's all about personal feeling.

2) Back in the day, I ran no matter what. The first two years, I didn't run in the winter, and then afterwards I was working too hard to lose momentum...I just ran. It helps to have a goal, something to get you out of bed...something real. It's awful to run in the rain, not gonna lie...mist is fine. Rain is not. But once you get back from your run, and shower, you feel great, because you did something good that you didn't want to do. :)

3) Set a goal. Set time every day aside for yourself...use that time for yourself, to better yourself. Don't let other people or anything else get in that time. Turn off your phone, don't watch TV, don't read, don't eat...just try to better yourself. Get out the door. Use the time. You always have time for something you make time for. Prioritize.

I hope that helps!! :)

A:

Allllll the time, dude. This is a throwaway so I don't wanna be specific, but a lot of gaming subs.


Q:

What's your experience with doping? Did you do it? Observe it? Did you see anyone that was a really weak runner turn into an amazing one?

A:

Hey there fellow Reno area guy. What happened to the prop airplane from Hello Hollywood, Hello?


Q:

I ran in the late seventies and early eighties. I had heard of blood doping. At the time I didn't know what it was. And didn't know anybody who did or was doing it.

It was after when the stuff was made public that I understood it. And no, didn't know anybody who was doing it.

Our "drug" of choice then was 120-150 mile weeks. As it probably is now.

A:

It's still there, dude. Saw it a few days ago when we ate backstage for my little going away party.


Q:

How wide spread do you think is the use of PEDs in distance running?

A:

Haha have any other acts used the plane in your tenure there?


Q:

I have no idea at all if anybody is using peds or ever used them

While I was running neva heard anything Joanie, Greta, Ingrid, Jackie, Allison, Lorraine or anybody else. The secrets we had...lol what we did for training we kept it close to ourselves.

I heard about Joanies workouts. Awesome. I didn't want to hear too much though because I'd freak out. And Greta's ohmygoodness, legendary.

We were in California for a Runners World event. I asked her if she wanted to go for a run together in the morning. She said yes. Her hubby Jack, so kind, took me aside and gently told me Greta trains at 5 30 pace....LOL!!!! Ohmy...so I didn't run with her as it was not even my race pace then....lol!!! She was so nice. Whenever we were at an event together she gave me a gift of chocolates. I LOVE CHOCOLATES.

All of the ladies were tough ad hard working. If I heard of a training session...Mostly the women trained fast. I was a slow and still am a slow trainer. I worked my hard days. Hard was hard. Easy days were easy and for recovery and fun.

Though I did take stock of what I heard and when my hard days came around pushed myself. I believed and still do if you haven't done it in a workout you wont do it in a race. Not the time...the learning to relax while maintaining effort and focus.

A:

I think David Copperfield vanished it once, but that was before my time. These days it just sits backstage with some other old sets and stuff.


Q:

How do you feel about men who've transgendered into females, competing against women in female only sports competitions?

A:

So how did GSR feel after Amy Schumer spent the first 15 minutes of her act talking shit about the venue?

For background: she was originally booked for their Grand Theater, which is one of the best venues in town. Then they decided to do renovations on the theater and they moved her to a convention room with ziptied dining chairs and a temporary stage.


Q:

To me, it's just another sweaty body to beat. :)

A:

I can't speak for anyone but myself of course but man, I think she can go fuck herself. Heard from one of my bosses at the time that she was being an asshole to the people working at wardrobe and all that too.

I'm sure she's probably nice to some people but that was a pretty dickish thing to say.


Q:

How does it feel to have to add the "for a woman" or "for a minority" qualifier to all of your achievements?

A:

Why?


Q:

LOL! I never did. Other people did that for me. I always just accomplished things for me. I was very goal-oriented, and what other people said or thought about me didn't matter. My times were my times, and I stand by them, it didn't matter what gender I was or what ethnicity. They were good no matter what.

A:

College.


Q:

Did you ever use recovery techniques like aqua jogging? How effective did you find them? Asking for a friend...

A:

What is/was your college major?


Q:

No, personally. My recovery was an easy run. I didn't run on treadmills or in pools...if I couldn't run outside, I didn't run. Low impact exercise can be good for maintaining fitness through an injury, though.

A:

Graphic design. Left this job for one in my field.


Q:

Hey! Thanks for doing this and all you do, and a lot of these questions are great, but here's a fun one! What's your guilty pleasure food?

A:

Before tickets go on sale to the public, what percentage of tickets are already sold off?


Q:

I loooovvvee Toffifay. It's a hazelnut and caramel candy and it's delicious!

A:

It varies wildly depending on the show, location, venue, all sorts of stuff like that. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that super popular acts sell out instantly.

From the angle of this specific venue, the casino and presales are what take the lion's share. Casino gets a couple hundred tickets at various price levels to offer their players based on their play rate (and I've seen players with an average daily wager rate from the single digits to the thousands), sometimes five or six hundred if it's a big show. Beyond that, our presales were pretty open so a lot of times the a good chunk of the front half would go before the on sale. At a guess, that means about thirty percent of a theater seating about 2500-2700.


Q:

I only I heard of is the one in Massachusetts.

A:

When does the buffet have crab legs? I forget.


Q:

INJURIES!

I too am a forefoot striker. Need to do lots of lower leg strengthening work. What I a doing now.

A:

Fridays iirc


Q:

do you still like baseball nut? i like it as a shake, myself.

A:

Hey man, thanks for doing this. I'm a little late to the party but hoping you see this.. have a couple of questions.

1) What's to prevent people from using Ticketmaster as a "showroom" of sorts then converting to the venue's website and purchasing from there to avoid the Ticketmaster fees? Does Ticketmaster own the inventory or do they have exclusivity via the contract, etc. Could you shed some light here?

2) What's Ticketmasters opinion of the secondary market (stubhub, seatgeek, etc.)?

2a) Does Ticketmaster price to discourage resale? Or are they in collusion with the secondary market to maximize value to each channel?

3) Do you have an opinion of Nathan Hubbard? Think he probably predates you but he seems to understand the pain consumers go through when acquiring tickets (although he didn't really do too much about it).

4) Final request - give me your insider's-opinion on how we fix this market for the consumer.


Q:

I suppose I do. though I have not had it in eons..not any ice cream for that matter. I lead a sad life.

A:

Hey! I can't really comment on too much of this since I worked for a venue, not for Ticketmaster themselves, but I'll answer what I can.

1) Back when we were using our own in-house system we recommended doing this. Their online map looked better than ours in some cases so we'd tell them to look at the map on Ticketmaster and then come to our site and buy them cheaper. Since we went to 100% Ticketmaster sales there's no difference except fees. As far as I was aware we still owned the inventory the whole time, they just worked as a third party for us early on and later became our distribution mechanism. Our contracts and promotions were (again as far as I was aware) between us and the talent, unless they had an outside promoter like JMAX or Another Planet or something.

2) No clue. My own personal opinion is that the whole system is pretty fucked, but I wouldn't know the first thing to do to fix it.

2a) No clue, I never really got insight into why prices were set to what they were.

3) Never heard of him before now, to be honest.

4) See 2, I'd much rather leave that issue to people with more passion and expertise in the subject than myself.


Q:

So I read that the whole idea of Ticketmaster is to throw extra fees on and take the pressure off of the artist or venue. For example. Better for your favorite singer to charge $50 a ticket with Ticketmaster throwing on $20 in fees as compared to $65 for the ticket and $5 for the fees. Their whole model is to take the ire of the fans off of the artist/venue. That is why they don't have competition. Have you heard this, do you know if it is true?

A:

I have heard that, yeah, but it wasn't really true for our venue (max fee total outside of online was $5.50) so I don't really know how accurate it is, sorry.


Q:

What's it like to work for literal Satan?

A:

A couple weeks ago I went over to the water cooler and my boss was there.

"Hey Satan," I said.

"Hey Throwaway," he said.

"Hey, so I got this job in my field out of college..."

"Oh wow, congratulations. I knew you'd been looking around."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm really excited. I guess this means I'm putting in my two weeks' notice."

"Could you put that down in writing for me? HR needs it official before they'll open up the spot for me to start hiring."

"Sure, no problem."

"We're gonna miss you around here."

"Don't I know it, Satan."

"All the same, I'm really happy for you."

"Thanks, I really appreciate the support. It was a pleasure working here."

"You know this means I've gotta spend twice as much time flaying the skin from your bones before burning you alive, then reversing the process by reconstituting you from living ooze and ensuring you feel every instant of the incredible pain since you're leaving, right?"

"Yeah, that's pretty fair. In the meantime, I'll make sure the manual is up to snuff before I go."

"Sounds like a plan. Let me know if you need someone to call me for a reference."

"Will do. Seeya later."

Yeah, Satan's pretty chill. Would recommend unless you have problems with the whole eternal hellfire thing.


Q:

What hours of the day did you work?

How many hours did you work per week?

A:

Swing/night shift for three years, then morning for the last year. Given that my new job is normal business hours, I'm glad I had time to adapt.

I was part time, but for awhile we were really understaffed, so I did more hours including a lot of overtime pretty frequently.


Q:

How often do you get to Lake Tahoe and the Ski Slopes nearby?

A:

Not at all, honestly. I'm not a very outdoorsy person. Tons of people come through the casinos for that stuff, though.