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My first exposure to Naughty decoration as a data center game was as an observer over a period of a few years in the numerous wiring closets on a major midwestern university campus. I was prompted to add this to my Data center games writeup when just last Saturday, many years later and a thousand miles away, I figured out that the same thing was happening at the datacenter of a Fortune-100 company where I'm currently employed. I have since discussed it with a few peers from both institutions and found some common threads.

When playing Naughty decoration, the point is to decorate rarely visited areas in such a way that others who discover your decoration will be surprised and either offended or amused. In my experieces, this very often includes pornography, hand illustrations, and other surprises.

In most cases, it appears that the goal is to be strictly anonymous. I have yet to find someone who claims to have either placed such decorations or know anything about who did. But there are also hints. For instance, in writings about individuals, it must be someone who knows the subject.

In some cases, trends develop so that you can count on finding a decoration in the same type of spot in various locations.

I could find a little eyeball drawn in black marker on the cement under every switch -- each one a little different. There was a Playboy centerfold firmly taped to the top side of every celing panel where the ladder racks entered the computer lab, where no one would see it. I found one of those creepy little troll dolls burried deeply in a seven-inch bundle of cat-5 going through a large conduit in a firewall and then another in the trunk above a wall of patch panels. How many more are there, as yet unfound?

There is a folded sheet-metal cover around some utility controls under the floor of my current data center on which a running dialog about tits has been taking place between anonymous participants. There appear to be five handwriting styles present. This is remarkable! My coworkers are recording for posterity the objectification of women with whom I (and presumably they) have worked. And I suspect that none of the participants knows the other authors. I don't -- though there are only 30 or so people that they could reasonably be.

While scoping out the 60-yard path for a new trunk of SAN fibers, our intern found seven long dead and completely dessicated mice suspended in a neat row by their tails under a long unused chunk of heavy iron that we were replacing with a new 16-foot robotic tape library. Someone took the time to hang these creatures in a hard to reach bit of the plenum just, I assume, so that years later, we would find them and say "what the fuck?" We did.

The final bit of Naughty decoration worth mentioning, and this barely counts as a decoration -- worth it only because it is a known event in five completely different North American institutions just through the few contacts that I made for this writeup, is the used condom. I have had the dubious fortune of finding used condoms in two different situations: once, under a raised floor of a small data center and then in a wiring closet of a library that had been untouched (and theoretically locked) for years before I was there. Other people have encountered used condoms in utility tunnels, wiring closets, and an electrical accessway in a federal courthouse that is under constant camera surveillance. I decided to call this a decoration because I think it fits the character of Naughty decorations in that people are attempting to outrage others through their leavings.

I know this really doesn't qualify as a game, but as a game-like phenomenon, it seems worth including.

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