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We Hug

May 12, 2009

I noticed something a few years back. When game developers greet each other, we hug. Not all of us, and certainly not all the time, but a great many of us do. It’s not just w-2-m or w-2-w either. Men hug when they greet one another. A handshake seems, perhaps, too formal. Since thinking about this a few GDCs ago, I’ve watched to test my theory, and it seems that it’s incredibly common.

We hug each other when we greet. I like that about us.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2009 10:34 pm

    Back when I first met Marq Singer, long before I realized he was *that* Marq Singer, he’d push my hand away when I offered up a handshake and give me a hug instead. I didn’t think about it until now, but he’s done that with my husband John, too. I just thought Marq was a huggy person. . .until I went to TGC. I got hugs from people I’d only known for a few hours. It was amazing. It made me feel like I belonged there.

    I’m a huggy person by nature, so all of this is just fine by me. The problem lies in knowing when to hug and when *not* to hug. I mean, there has to be at least a few scenarios where a hug is sort of. . .I don’t want to say inappropriate, but it seems to be the only word I can come up with this late at night.

  2. May 12, 2009 10:37 pm

    I think it has to do with how well you know the person to begin with. When I first meet someone, it would be very, very odd. I’m at a point now where I regularly meet people at conferences that I already know – we’re familiar with who each other is, but we’ve not been properly introduced. We shake hands. 🙂

    On a related note, that latter scenario – meeting someone when you already know who they are – is pretty odd, I must say. I have thought about that in Hollywood before when two stars who clearly know who the other is first are introduced personally. It is strange to experience it personally.

    • May 12, 2009 10:42 pm

      Military upbringing here, so handshakes are “normal” and “hugs are for hippies.” *snorts* 😀 It took a long time for me not to feel weird about hugging people when the compulsion to do so overtook me.

  3. Gabriel Penteado permalink
    May 13, 2009 1:43 am

    I’m a real hugger, so yeah i guess.

    I think it has something to do with the informality of our industry, its almost a common sight studios with a lot of toys and other stuff, specially lego.

    I guess there’s a bit of our children inside all of us still

    • May 13, 2009 7:27 am

      I think there’s a “bit of our children” in everybody. I think the difference with us is that we don’t let the “lot of our adult” stand in the way of that.

      As far as appropriateness in hugging, I grew up in a family of huggers, and even my buddies and I did the whole “shake, then hug with the other arm” thing. I think you get pretty good at reading the other person. If you can hug, though, I think you should.

      I think our industry hugs because we feel so connected to one another. Being such a relatively young industry, with fewer people, many of which are quite talented, we have such similar experiences that we’re easily acquainted. Bring on the hugs!

  4. Bryan Cash permalink
    May 13, 2009 2:48 pm

    What a charming observation!

    I’d be curious how this broke down in various industries and if it’s a science/arts separation. I don’t think my finance or biochem friends at conferences hug that much.

    I don’t know much about artistic conferences. I know they do have conferences for furniture and lighting design. I wonder if they hug?

    • May 13, 2009 7:07 pm

      I have an opportunity to attend a lot of events here at the Savannah College of Art and Design that cater to all kinds of industries/specialties/art forms. So far, nothing like it that I’ve seen. It was this that actually made me aware of the difference.

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