Fun Without The Calories: Digital Easter Egg Playtime

April 18, 2019
2 mins read
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PAT PILCHER has an Easter egg idea that won’t result in trips to the dentist or diabetes. (Or, how to have fun online this Easter).

 

Here we go on the great Easter egg gorge-athon again. It happens every year, it’s predictable as mud, and afterwards, the effect of eating vast amounts of sugar and fat never feels good. Well, here’s an idea: digital Easter eggs.

Here’s a brief history lesson in digital Easter eggs:

The words ‘Easter egg’ are used for secret features/messages hidden in many popular apps and programmes, an idea which started way back in 1979 with the Atari 2600 video game, Adventure.

Atari employee Warren Robinett coded the game and was annoyed that Atari did not include programmers’ names in the game credits, despite having spent thousands of hours coding the game. (Bizarrely, Atari feared that competitors could steal Atari employees if they were named in games). Robinett, feeling peeved over this lack of acknowledgment, secretly inserted ‘Created by Warren Robinett’ into the game’s code so it would only be visible if a player moved the game avatar over a specific pixel during a specific stage of the game.

Robinett eventually left Atari and didn’t tell them of the extra code inserted into the game. Soon, his message was found by a player, which generated a wave of publicity. Atari’s management had decided to zap the unwanted message and r-release the game, but it was going to cost an arm and a leg to do so. Instead, it was decided that Atari would keep the message and encourage similar tricks in future Atari games, calling them ‘Easter eggs’ as consumers had to go on a hunt for them.

So, here’s the 2019 Witchdoctor Easter egg list. All you need is the Chrome browser and Google. Enjoy!

Egg-zactly!

What does Easter and ‘1.2+(sqrt(1-(sqrt(x^2+y^2))^2) + 1 – x^2-y^2) * (sin (10000 * (x*3+y/5+7))+1/4) from -1.6 to 1.6’ have in common? Just type this query into Google Image Search and you’ll find out.

Zorch In!

Search for ‘text adventure’, then tap on three dots in Chrome browser —> More tools —> developer tools —> Console —> type ‘yes’ below the question, ‘Would you like to play a game?’

Brick Bats!

Search for ‘Atari Breakout’ (in image search), which is every bit as addictive and frustrating as you remember. If you get tired of this, you can also try ‘Pac Man’, ‘Zerg Rush’ or ‘Minesweeper’.

Animals!

Search ‘Earth Day Quiz’ to find your counterpart in the animal world based on your human attributes.

 

Party Like It’s 1998!

Rollerblades, skate tees, and The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and Google. Search ‘Google in 1998’ and you’ll be transported right back to that time online.

For Seinfeld Fans!

Search ‘Festivus’. The rest of us won’t have a clue what’s going on.

Say What?

A great one to mess with your workmate’s Googling! Just change the language setting in Search to <pirate>, <bork, bork, bork>, <elmer>, <hacker>, <klingon>]. Brilliant!

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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