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The International Obfuscated C Code Contest (IOCCC), which has been held nearly annually since 1984, is a contest in which programmers compete to design intentionally cryptic, inefficient, unwieldy pieces of C code.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is said that the International Obfuscated C Code Contest's content originated from programmers looking at inefficiently written code for legitimate projects.
Many different entries in the International Obfuscated C Code Contest have demonstrated how to write purposefully complex and annoying code; for instance, avoiding common C conventions to write things in a much more elaborate way, or adding layers of unnecessary abstraction. For example, some of the entries use loops to develop items that could have been simply defined – one program calculates pi by examining a shape that it has generated. The International Obfuscated C Code Contest has spawned such correlate events as the Obfuscated Perl contest, and enjoys notoriety in the “l33t” world.