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Hat Dash 2011 Conclusion: The Unhattening

2012-01-07 by David Fullerton. 3 comments

Hat Dash 2011 is officially over!  Over 475 users participated, including 93 Zombies (people who last posted over 30 days ago) and 102 Newbies (first-time posters).  1152 questions were asked, 2259 answers posted, and 2042 hats were awarded in three short weeks!

Sad to see your hats go?  We’ve added a new section to to see your full Hat Rack.  You can find it by taking your Gaming user page URL (like ‘’) and replacing the “” part with “” (like ‘’).  Feel free to put a link to it in your user profile!

Curious to see how other people did?  Visit the Hat Dash Hall of Fame:

A special congratulations to agent86 and Raven Dreamer who tied for the win with 31 hats each!

Some random info for you:

  • Rarest Hat: The Un-Hat — 3 upvoted posts in “uncharted-3” (only 2 users unlocked it)
  • Most Common Hat: Editor Hat — edit a post (70 users were wearing it at the end of Hat Dash)
  • Most Unappreciated Hat: The Chatterbox — 10 comments in a day (0 of 27 users who had it were wearing it at the end)

And some miscellaneous stats:

  • 1151 questions and 2254 answers were asked during Hat Dash, 42% and 32% more than the pre-Dash average
  • 59 bounties were awarded during Hat Dash, almost 3x the average!
  • 102 brand new users earned and wore hats
  • The top 50 hat earners posted 60% more than they did before Hat Dash


Star Wars: The Old Republic Contest

The conclusion of Hat Dash also ends the Star Wars: The Old Republic contest.   Over 156 questions were asked, boosting SWTOR into the top 30 tags on the site (and still climbing!) and making it currently the #2 most-viewed tag on the site (behind only Skyrim):

The winners of the contest are:


The Future of Hats

Overall, Hat Dash was a resounding success:  our top users loved it (averaging over 10 hats each!), and the event generated hundreds of questions and answers that would not normally have been posted.  While there are things we could have done better, the basic idea of rewarding our awesome community and having some extra fun during the holidays worked!

So you can rest assured, this won’t be the last you see of HATS!

New Hats for Star Wars: The Old Republic!

2011-12-20 by David Fullerton. 1 comments

Star Wars: The Old Republic launches today!  To celebrate, we’ve added four new Star Wars-themed hats:

Right after a game launches is the most important time to ask lots of questions about the game, so all of these hats are awarded for high-quality questions about Star Wars: The Old Republic:

  • R2-D2 Dome: Ask 5 upvoted questions in the “star-wars-old-republic” tag
  • Darth Vader Helmet: Ask 10 upvoted questions in the “star-wars-old-republic” tag
  • Yoda Ears: Ask a question with 10 upvotes in the “star-wars-old-republic” tag
  • Boba Fett Helmet: Ask a question with 1000 views in the “star-wars-old-republic” tag

Also, in the spirit of the season we’ll be giving away some prizes in the following categories:

(Note that each person can only win one prize, so if someone wins multiple we’ll go to the second place winner)

The hats and the contest end January 6, so get out there and ask some questions!

If you’re new to this whole hat thing, read Holiday 2011 Hat Dash: The Hattening for more information, or head over to to see all the hats!

Holiday 2011 Hat Dash: The Hattening

2011-12-16 by David Fullerton. 5 comments

Throughout history, men have worn hats as a way of showing how much better they are than other men. “I buy hats,” a behatted man seems to say. “I am better than you.”

In wartime, hats were a useful way of conferring rank, and ensuring that casualties were confined to the lower classes… During peacetime, hats have been instrumental for men to let the non-hatted know just who is wearing the hat around here.

The Team Fortress 2 Classless Update

The holidays are almost upon us: a time for family, gifts, and of course hours and hours of video games.  To celebrate the season (and since we heard you like hats) we thought we’d throw a little party.  We’re calling it… Hat Dash!

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Holiday 2011 Hat Dash

2011-12-14 by David Fullerton. 9 comments

What’s that you say? The holidays? Yes, yes, I know. I made that mistake once; I won’t forget again.

Oh, what’s this? A gift? Why, thank you! Oh, it’s not for me? It’s for the users? I see. Well open it and show them what it is.

Well, a hat! That does sound nice. But what good is a hat if you can’t wear it around? Oh. Oh I see! A digital hat to go on your digital head. And not just one hat? Dozens of hats to choose from! My, my. Yes, you have my attention. Please, go on.

Game hats! Of course, we are all about the games here, so there must be game hats. Ah, and I see what you did there, choosing the games people will likely be playing over the holidays. Very clever. And what’s this over here? Holiday hats? Well, I did always fancy some reindeer antlers. And surprise hats? Oh, my. Yes, I think they will like this.

Aha, of course, the catch. I knew there had to be one. So, I must earn each hat before I can wear it? Well, I suppose one has to keep the riff-raff out somehow. How will I earn them? By participating in the site? But I was going to do that anyway! How else would I admire all the wonderful hats on people’s…what did you call them? Gravatars?

But only for a limited time? Beginning when? December 17th! But that’s so soon! I have hardly any time to prepare! And ending January 6th? Just over two weeks to earn all these hats! Well, I have some work to do!

No, I’m very sorry, I simply cannot stay any longer. There are things I need to take care of, very important things that simply must be done before the weekend! Thank you ever so much for your time, it was quite inspiring. What’s that? Why, off to the furniture store of course! I can’t just pile my hats in the corner, now can I? This calls for a proper display case!

Yes, good luck to you as well! I suppose you’ll need it more than I! Ha ha, very good. Well, we’ll just have to see who has more in a few weeks, now won’t we? What did you say? A real hat for the winner? Yes, I suppose that’s fitting. I’ll be sure to send you my measurements — I have quite a big head, after all. You might say, a head made for spectacular hats! I simply won’t be denied. I MUST HAVE MORE HATS!

Fun Skyrim questions you might have missed

2011-11-15 by David Fullerton. 2 comments

Skyrim has taken over the site. At 350+ questions and 500,000 views, it’s now the third biggest game on the site…ever. And it’s only been four days!

With so many questions, you might have missed some of the real gems in there. So here are my favorite Skyrim questions that you might have missed:

5. How to get the people of a village like me again after killing their livestock?

Once upon a time, Zelda taught us not to kill chickens, but in games since then that lesson seems to have been lost. Well, Bethesda knows how to add the little touches, and apparently killing people’s livestock can be enough to turn an entire village against you. Fortunately, they also have short memories.

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It’s Skyrim Time

2011-11-11 by David Fullerton. 0 comments

Modern Warfare 3 had its three-day head start. And, to their credit, they racked up a decent 60+ questions and 10k+ views. Not bad. But now it’s time for Skyrim to join the contest, and I think we all know what’s going to happen.

In case you’re coming late to the party, we’re hosting a contest between Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3. Each game gets 7 days to get as many views on its questions as it can. Everyone who contributed an a question or answer to the winning game is eligible to win the Grand Prize: a free console or graphics card. We also have a free game (your choice!) for the top question and answer about each game.

Livestream Launch Party

To kick off a weekend of gaming, we’re hosting a live party at Stack Exchange HQ in New York. We’ll be live streaming the party and gameplay at starting at 4pm EST. You won’t want to miss it. We’ll be featuring:

  • 10 gaming systems, including 2 projectors
  • Live color commentary & interviews by a pair of comedians
  • Music, food, and beverage (not included in livestream)

If you’re in New York and want to drop by, shoot us an email at Otherwise, tune in to the livestream at starting at 4pm.

Skeptical of our comedic abilities? Check out this video some of our CHAOSers shot at the midnight launch of Modern Warfare 3 to promote the contest:

Elder Scrolls V vs. Modern Warfare 3

2011-11-02 by David Fullerton. 7 comments

Everyone has been talking about Battlefield vs. Modern Warfare 3, but in all the commotion we’re missing a much bigger problem looming on the horizon. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launches next week on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and a mere three days later The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launches on Friday, Nov. 11. This means that heading into the weekend, millions of gamers will be in the difficult position of deciding which game to play.

Now, I can tell you which one I think is more exciting, but we’d rather settle this thing once and for all. That’s why we’re proposing a friendly little competition on the site:

Here’s how it’s going to work: each game will get seven days from when it launches to ask and answer questions about the game.  The winning criteria will be the total number of views the questions get over the course of the week.  We’ll stop the clock after seven days and declare a winner on Friday, November 18.

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10,000 Questions

2011-10-26 by David Fullerton. 3 comments

Gaming hit 10k questions yesterday, and what’s most impressive about that number is actually how small it is.

If you look at the site directory sorted by questions, you’ll see that Gaming ranks at a measly #11 in the Stack Exchange network by total number of questions.  That’s not bad since we’re up to 68(!) sites, but it’s not exactly blowing everything else away.  It’s a solid site, but not quite on its way to overtaking that other Q&A site.

It’s only when you start looking at traffic that things get interesting.  Sorting by visits per day, Gaming jumps up to #6 — not too shabby considering that four of those are the original sites that had some serious advantages when they launched.  In fact, it would be #5 if iOS5 hadn’t just come out and temporarily catapulted Apple to the #5 spot. more »