As my esteemed colleague Elizabeth Flock noted Thursday, Google experienced a wave of love and adoration from Internet users thanks to the company’s “Easter eggs,” hidden around the various programs. It all started with a Google search for “do a barrel roll,” flipping the search screen 360 degrees. From there, people delighted in a score of tricks embedded in Google by developers with a keen sense of quirkiness.
Google, though, is nowhere near the only company to plant secrets for the intrepid user to discover. In fact, Easter eggs have long been used as secret shout-outs in movies, video games and even works of art. To stick with the online theme, though, here’s a list of four of my favorite pranks played online:
1. Conspiracy theories unite
Type in Illuminati backwards and add .com. See where it takes you.
2. Play Snake on YouTube
Pause a video and hold down the left key for two seconds. While still pressing down on the left key, press the up key. Once the snake starts moving, press play on the video and enjoy a quick game as you watch the latest My Drunk Kitchen episode.
3. Konami codes
The Konami code is an old Japanese video game egg that is a simple sequence of buttons: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA. All sorts of sites use this code (including Google Reader), but the best reward for the Konami code may be on the creative agency site Allen & Gerritsen. Type in the Konami code and a rocket ship appears, ready to destroy the whole page.
4. Forget 404 pages; meet the secret About pages
There are plenty of cute 404 error messages all over the Internet (Check out Apartment Home Living’s, a particularly good one). So now company have to out-cute one another by introducing their teams in a playful manner. Check out the video-hosting site, Wistia, and their About page. While the rollover function is lovely, try typing in D-A-N-C-E. (Caution: Music will start to play.)