When Videogames Stink: Game Developers' S.F. Conference Promo Inadvertently Echoes Stereotype Regarding Programmers' Lack of Hygiene

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It's game over for whomever chose the 'So close you can smell it' line...

Making videogames is not nearly so easy as Super Mario Brothers World 1-1. Programmers and developers are renowned for subsisting on pizza delivery and Mountain Dew for weeks on end during marathon sessions held with project deadlines looming. And, finally -- how to say this -- look, programmers have a reputation for incredibly poor hygiene largely due to pounding on keyboards for days on end.

So, it was with great surprise that the 2009 Game Developers Conference -- held right here in San Francisco running from yesterday to Friday -- was pitched on its Web site with the catchphrase "So close you can smell it."

You think it was a good idea to juxtapose the mental imagery of thousands of programmers jostling about in Moscone Center with this catchphrase?

Now, this isn't meant to be a slight on programmers -- a convention of marathon runners, jackhammer operators, or sanitation workers would also be ill-advised to advertise to would-be attendants that they'll be getting a whiff of the guests.

But programmers have a special place in my heart -- going back to the undergraduate days, when yours truly stumbled into what could only be described as a "wall of stench" in U.C. Berkeley's Soda Hall as EECS (electrical engineering and computer science) majors desperately programmed for 72 uninterrupted hours prior to finals.

Hey, readers: Can anyone confirm the rumors that Soda Hall actually had showers in its lower levels? Because the place did look like a giant tiled bathroom, you know...  


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