Google, ATARI & “Easter Eggs”

ATARI celebrated BREAKOUT’s 37th Anniversary this year – and Google is (about a month late) playing along! Created by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow in 1976, “BREAKOUT” was based on 1972’s Pong.


As you can tell by the frequent Google-doodles, Google loves transforming its page into something different, whimsical, and (really) doing anything that gets us nerds talking. This time, they have outdone themselves. Go ahead, open a new tab in your browser window, and open google image search, and enter “ATARI breakout” and see what happens (or you can just click on the link below!); come back afterwards for more on Easter Eggs 🙂


Easter Eggs are hidden messages, inside jokes, or artifacts hidden in movies, tv shows, software, music, books, and art. A quick internet search to get examples bombards you with information and examples, but I’m going to go on my own memory for this one.

Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 9.46.53 PM

The first easter egg I encountered was during the game Day of the Tentacle by LucasArts in 1993. When playing as Bernard, in the main house, at the top of the stairs, is a room with Weird Ed looking at his stamp collection book with his pet hamster and an old school computer between the door and the desk. One day, in an attempt to search for what to do next I clicked on the computer and then clicked “USE” and the prequel to Day of the Tentacle, MANIAC MANSION, was available in full to play. :O  I mean, are you kidding me LucasArts?! 😀 You put a game inside your game?! I love you guys, and now Disney owns you, sad. The novelty, the inside jokery, the sheer excitement of finding something that was very obviously just put in there to make you or someone else smile is what makes a game stand out, makes you attach emotion to it, makes it one of your favourite games.

Some other popular easter eggs (and some of my personal favourites) are:

Perfect Dark  I’ve always been one of those people who sees patterns in video games, or can see what stands out from the usual pattern, so Easter Eggs involving finding specific things always make me squee a little more than a one-time thing (Maniac Mansion game maybe being the exception). In Perfect dark, it was cheese. Yes, cheese. A wedge of cheese could be found in each main level of the game if you looked for it, and when I found out about this one I couldn’t help but try and run through as fast as possible just to find them.

Dead Island The developers here give a nod to horror classic villain Jason Voorhees in a character who (while NOT official)  donnes the trademark mask and weapon, and has the name “Jason”. BEWARE he is one of the harder random people to beat.

Just Cause 2 These guys didn’t just pay homage, they gave fans of a playground of happiness – they built the ENTIRE island from Lost for you to explore, which is peppered with references from the show! Any millionaires out there want to make this a reality? (or perhaps a Simpsons-brand town of springfield?)

Doom II In this case, the easter egg is an impaled head of John Romero (one of the lead programmers of the game) and is one of the most famous Easter Eggs of all time. As I have never played this one I found this description as part of the link below: “To find it, you must use a noclipping cheat during the final boss encounter in Doom II and walk “through” the villain’s head. There you’ll find Romero’s head mounted atop a stake. This visual gag is actually the hit detection box for the boss”

From Zelda to Silent Hill, SIM City to Tales from Monkey Island, you can find a lot of easter eggs in many games around you.


Easter Eggs can also be found on hardware:

microchips magnified many many times (approx width of a human hair):



… and in the backgrounds of movies:

George Harrison hiding in Life of Brian:


Sully from Monsters Inc hiding in wood carvers hut in BRAVE:



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