What is NHAW?
NHAW stands for Naked Hatted Avatar Week and is an annual event that occurs on the Westeros forum in the first week of October every year. Basically anyone who wants to take part photographs themselves naked, except for a strategically placed hat, uploads the image to the Internet and uses it as their avatar for the week. Rules of decency do apply and anything that crosses the line is removed by the moderators. It is an opportunity to not only show off yourself but to share your creativity and imagination, and many of us got very creative indeed. Oh and hats, it is very much definitely about the hats...
The tradition started in 2006 and arose out of a conversation in chat when Needle misspelled the word "hot" as "hat", hence the popular NHAW phrase "that's hat!". As the joke grew Zak had the idea to make it a board event, timed for his birthday in the first week of October, and the rest, as they say, is history. It quickly became a massive phenomenon with even Ran, Linda and many other moderators getting Naked and Hatted for the week. The thread gained well over 10,000 posts which is unheard of outside The Thread That Never Ends (TTTNE).
The thread was so large that it was impossible for people to read and keep up with, so for the second NHAW in 2007 I decided to review the thread in the same way that I used to do for TTTNE in my almost daily spam review. This was a very fun event and the pinnacle of NHAW history. By the third event in 2008 things had tailed off a little, hence the much smaller file size for the 2008 review. There was a NHAW in 2009 but it was even smaller, in fact the thread was so small that it was possible to keep up with and so with other projects demanding my time I decided not to review the thread.
I think the popularity of NHAW has now waned and the majority of the board are not interested in hats anymore, but I believe the tradition will continue in 2010 and beyond, however, I doubt I will have the time and motivation to review it again. The following two reviews stand as testimony to a fun even that is worth reading about, even if you can't actually see the hats.