During Easter this weekend I participated in an Easter egg hunt (yes, I’m a grown adult) and it got me thinking about Easter eggs…not the kind you find on Easter, but the kind you find on the Internet.
According to Wikipedia, the term “Easter egg” came from Atari. In 1979, game designer Warren Robinett hid his name in the game, Adventure, and the players who discovered it first called it an “Easter egg,” because it evoked the idea of a traditional Easter egg hunt.
The first time I learned about Easter eggs on the Internet was also the first time I learned about the Konami Code. What is the Konami Code, you might ask? You can read about Konami Code history on Wikipedia; but to summarize, it’s a video game cheat code. During the title screen of some games, if players press the below sequence of buttons on their controllers, a cheat for that game is enabled:
“Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.”
The code was popularized by the Nintendo game, Contra, giving you 30 extra lives when you entered it. With Contra being known as one of the hardest games of all time, the Konami Code has lived on and hides Easter eggs on numerous websites.
My favorite Konami Code website is British Vogue. Go to vogue.co.uk, enter the code sequence and keep hitting “A” to see dinosaurs in fashionable hats take over the homepage.
A couple of other well-known sites that have the Konami Code are buzzfeed.com (Hint: Are you a Belieber?) and digg.com (Hint: I can’t believe you fell for that); but the majority of the sites are videogame-/tech-related.
Aside from Konami Code Easter eggs, there are TONS of other Easter eggs hidden on the Internet. Go the IMDB page for This is Spinal Tap (the amps go to 11 and so do their user ratings) or type in “Do the Harlem Shake” on Youtube (turn on your speakers and wait for the beat to drop).
A quick Google search will reveal some clever Easter eggs you’d never think to search for, and I’m sure there are tons more that have yet to be discovered. Have fun hunting!
And if you’re looking for a unique way to make your website more engaging, consider adding an Easter egg to your site. Whether it’s just for fun or to convey a message about your brand, it’s a simple way to surprise and delight your website users. Of course, not everyone will find your Easter egg, but that’s the point!