I have a feature request to be added to SO: I think that when you win a hat, or maybe just a few special hats, the hats should be sent to your house for you to keep.

When I was looking at the Winter Bash 2017, I saw that there was a hat designing contest. I thought that when you did the achievement to get a hat, you actually got it; I was totally motivated to go and earn some hats. But later on, I was talking to a friend about how cool it is that you can win real hats, but he said you don't actually get them, they just appear on your profile picture.

That's great and all, but I think that SO should take hats one step further and actually give away hats. Wouldn't that be awesome, walking around with a SO hat? Then you could take your profile picture actually wearing the hat, too.

Shipping away real hats might cost SO a lot of money, so maybe there could just be a few, harder to achieve hats. Or, maybe a mastery hat of like over 10k rep or something. Or a real hat that you earn only if you have every single virtual hat unlocked.

EDIT: This is a different feature request/question than How to earn Stack Exchange swag or goodies?. This is a feature request for a different type of swag/goodies, not a question on how to earn swag/goodies.

  • Dream on lil' sweeper ... – user0042 Dec 19 '17 at 23:28
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    Possible duplicate of How to earn Stack Exchange swag or goodies? – user0042 Dec 19 '17 at 23:29
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    I'm curious why you think SE would spend millions of dollars sending people all over the world actual hats? – Catija Dec 19 '17 at 23:35
  • I think actual hats would be fun. motivating, and would help advertise for SE. – Eli TheHuman Dec 19 '17 at 23:36
  • It wouldn't cost a ton if only a few rare hats are given. – Eli TheHuman Dec 19 '17 at 23:37
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    Become a mod. We have hats. And cookies. – Journeyman Geek Dec 19 '17 at 23:37
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    Well... they do give out a few rare hats... but it has nothing to do with Winter Bash... Every mod gets a special mod hat. – Catija Dec 19 '17 at 23:37
  • @Catija Oh, I didn't know that. – Eli TheHuman Dec 19 '17 at 23:39
  • Yeah... the navy baseball hat with the diamond on it... that's what the mod hat looks like, actually. i.stack.imgur.com/nzje7.png – Catija Dec 19 '17 at 23:40
  • @Catija Nice and shiny as it was delivered from starting off the 2017 Winterbash ;-) I felt sooo honored going through all that frustration the least year. – user0042 Dec 19 '17 at 23:49

I like the idea of shipping real hats to users who achieved every single other hat (those should be very rare, or are they?), but I see problems with this:

  1. Sending out every hat is not doable for SO, neither financially nor in terms of infrastructure. It would just be way too much of a hassle for no real profit.

  2. Having a challenge where you can get a hat by achieving every virtual hat will bring users to the site who hunt for this hat only, and in the process of doing so, they will most probably violate the rules (spamming, upvoting their own questions with secondary accounts, ...). SO is a Q and A site after all, not a hat-bounty-hunter-site.

For those reasons, the idea is most probably not realizable.

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