When I'm attending the Game Developers' Conference I usually wear a tall, rather silly-looking top hat. Although it might seem like an affectation, it has a practical purpose. Back when I was helping to run the GDC, I was in constant demand by the staff to solve one problem or another. Since I'm only 5'6" and quite normal-looking, there was no good way to pick me out of a crowd in a hurry. I began wearing
the hat so that they (and my wife) could find me in a roomful of people. If I wanted to disappear, all I had to do was take off the hat.
Since then it has become something of a trademark, and now that I write a regular column on game design, people are still anxious to find me at the conference. So I still wear the hat. Because I'm going bald and rather prone to sunburn, I also wear a fedora in the summertime.
Some frequent questions and comments:
Do you own that hat?
Yes, I do. I used to rent a top hat every year, but one year I didn't get to the rental store in time, so I bought the current one at a hat store in Long Beach. I think it was about $45. The fedora is from Christy's in England. It's a wool felt crushable
hat in their Safari style.
How big is it?
Enormous, by most people's standards — I have an unusually large head. It's a 7 and 5/8ths, if hat sizes mean anything to you.