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

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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