Two programmers Michael Glass and Brad Reid-Selth who coded games for the Fairchild Channel F system brought one of the earliest known Easter Eggs to us in 1977. When you got to the end of the Demo Cart and hit buttons 1,3 and 4 at the same time the programmers names printed.
Now you might ask yourself, “Why do people hide Easter Eggs?”
Here are my theories:
Developers who work together have many inside jokes. Sometimes they might pool together and drop in a little “Easter Egg” into their work just to carry the joke further. An outsider who happens to find it might be confused and not fully understand the joke, but that’s the point – they’re inside jokes.
Often when groups of people work on a project they’ll secretly imbed a list of credits into the job. We’ve seen this happen on all sorts of projects – from animated movies to video games. It’s their way of telling the world – look I worked on this!
In other cases, after spending sometimes hundreds of hours on a project a developer might spend a couple of hours creating an elaborate Egg just to vent. We saw this on projects such as The Little Mermaid and even once on an Ikea catalogue (remember the well endowed dog!). But BE WARNED… the company is responsible for the consequences of that product. If the Easter egg is perceived as offensive or illegal content you will be out of a job and fast!!!
I for one love a good “Easter egg”. When they are created with fun in mind, they can delight and surprise. For our clients projects at Dashboard hiding an Easter Egg just wouldn’t be cool…unless they were in on it…and I would want to work with The Team to create it… So be on the hunt for an Egg here or there. That’s all I’m saying!
Be sure to check out two of my favourite “Easter Eggs”:
www.miniusa.com: Enter “reverse” into the search bar and hit enter. A small gear shift will appear in the bottom left corner of the page. Hold shift and click the gear shifter and hold onto your seat!
www.yahoo.ca: Turn your speakers up and click on the exclamation point!