Between December 16 and January 6, users can unlock hats for their gravatars on gaming.stackexchange.com by asking and answering questions, voting, sharing links, etc. For more info, read the full blog post:
There's also a related contest around the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic with some cool hats and prizes.
Well, once you see it in action you realize that those gravatars are basically begging for cute little hats. But video games have a long history of vanity items, and a few years ago Team Fortress 2 really brought hats to the forefront. Since so many Gaming users play Team Fortress 2, hats have become something of a meme on the site.
Gaming has been one of the top Stack Exchange sites in the network for a while, and really took off a month ago with the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Since the holidays are traditionally a big time of year for video games, we thought we'd put together a fun little promotion to try to bring in some new questions and users. And who knows? If it works well, there's always the possibility of hat-related promotions on other sites (where appropriate!).
I hate hats
Then this promotion is not for you! Just click the "I hate hats" button at the bottom of every page on the Gaming site to make them go away.
I hate video games
Well, then... try one of the other 70+ sites!
I love video games and hats!
Then come to gaming.stackexchange.com and ask or answer some questions! You'll earn your first hat in no time. But hurry up: after January 6th the site returns to a strict no-hat policy.