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!
What does Ticketmaster do with all the pain they harvest from the souls they rip off at the box office?
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?
Whats the deal with the rainbow six siege servers man?
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
How did you choose the kids that were on the show? I was always so jealous of those kids, man.
Is there a decision as a CEO that you regret or wish you could've done better?
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.
Makes sense, not all venues work the same way. Can't really speak for the ones I didn't work at.
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)
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.
Any word on a splinter cell game in the works. What can we expect ?
We actually haven't yet seen it. I (EG) just saw the documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy and loved it. I laughed, I cried.
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.
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!
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!
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! :)
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
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?
What's the most difficult thing you've had to do as CEO?
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.
What are some funny bloopers or accidents that occurred while filming the show with Bill Nye?
What is your personal opinion on Rainbow Six Siege?
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)
I love it! It's the first time that we have seen that level of engagement and passion around a game we've created.
Do you have a favourite episode or project of Bill's that you worked on?
What is it like working with Shigeru Miyamoto?
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)
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.
Whoa! Seems like you've had quite the life :) any plans to write an autobiography?
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
What do you think it was that set BNSG apart from other shows such as Beakman's World?
How does one become a CEO? What was your early life like?
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. :)
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.
To become a CEO I would say pick a fast growing industry you are interested in, surround yourself with the best and work hard!
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!
what old game would you want to be remastered with today's graphics ?
Thanks - we were never approached though always happy to help out (eg)
I would say Far Cry 3 on the Xbox One X would be amazing :)
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.
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?
Used to work with Ticketmaster too, but at a venue. I actually sort of enjoyed TMWin99. Autypes ftw.
How was Bill off camera? How much did he play up his personality?
How do you deal with the negative comments from so many players about your games?
(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.
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.
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.
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.
After Berlin, do you have actual plans to open further studios globally in the nearest future?
Yes both PBS and syndicated on network affiliates, as well as internationally
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 :)
Why was the part about chromosomes determining gender taken out of the Netflix version of the series?
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
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)
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.
Did you guys get a slice of Saves The World? You deserve, at minimum, a nibble.
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!
If you see me on the booth please come say hello!
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:)
Point taken. That must have been frustrating.
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?
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?
I was too busy being extremely pissed at that guy for being an incredible asshole, honestly.
Hey there! To answer your question, he was born into it. (eg)
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!
"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?
Is there any moment during the day when you don't think about Ubisoft? What else do you think about?
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)
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.
So my wife is a marathoner. She loves it to death. No question for you, but could you say hello? Thanks
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?
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?
What is your most played game? (ubisoft game and non-ubisoft game)
Congratulations to your wife! Marathoning is wonderful.
You're usually better off on the website. It's generally the fastest, even if you pay more.
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)
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.
What's your favourite food that fits in a training regiment?
Did you primarily do business in sports or theater sales where you were located? Always wondered what these jobs entailed, to be honest.
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.
Nooo...my ex-husbands were Sicilian. :p
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.
I really liked the For Honor collectors edition with the 3 helmets.
Thanks for the AMA! What would you say is Ubisoft's greatest masterpiece?
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.
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.
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?
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)
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.
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?
Hey there fellow Reno area guy. What happened to the prop airplane from Hello Hollywood, Hello?
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.
It's still there, dude. Saw it a few days ago when we ate backstage for my little going away party.
How does it feel to have to add the "for a woman" or "for a minority" qualifier to all of your achievements?
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.
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?
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.
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.