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Thread: origin of the "easter egg"?

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    Default origin of the "easter egg"?

    I was watching some TV show the other day where these guys were talking about DVD "easter eggs". This expression seems to have made its way into the mainstream, so I'm wondering about how it came into being.

    Actually, I'm fairly certain about exactly how it came into being, but I want to see what others remember first (and someone else could probably explain it better).

    So, what is the origin of the "easter egg"?

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Captain Wrong's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the first was the infamous "invisible dot" in Atari 2600 Adventure that led to the room that said "Created by Warren Robinette."

    The origin of the term, hmm...I'm pretty sure somone at Atari's magazine christened it an easter egg when a kid wrote to them asking about the Adventure dot. Kind of makes sence, because looking for the dot was like going on an Easter egg hunt, right?

    BTW, personally it annyos the HELL out of me that "easter eggs" are such a big deal in DVDs. If I'm paying my money for a DVD, I don't want to have to get on the internet to find the codes or whatever to access half the features on the disc. When it was just developers hiding their names, that's one thing now, but I'm waiting for the DVD where the entire movie is an easter egg.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) slapdash's Avatar
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    Default Origins

    I think Katz, Kunkel & Worley often get credited for the term.

    I'm not sure if Adventure was the first, but it's certainly an early one, at least within console gaming.

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    The first place I ever saw it used was in a Boy's Life magazine in refrence to whatever video game they were talking about. Said it was like an Easter Egg since it had a surprise hidden inside (obviously a reference to the plastic ones, not a real one). Anyway, first place I saw it, but perhaps not the first place it popped up.

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    classicus carnivorous
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    <shameless plug>

    Note that "Mister Easter Egg", Warren Robinett, will be in attendance at Classic Gaming Expo 2002 on Aug 10th and 11th. Bring you Adventure cartridge!

    </shameless plug>

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    Thanks for the feedback. It's funny hearing this expression being used the way it is now (and as much as it is now).

    Captain Wrong's response pretty much corresponds to the way I remember it. I first read about it in a book, I surely will never remember which one though (I had a dozen of those 80's "How to Beat Videogames" books). Anyway, one of the books had an explanation of how to find the Adventure "Easter Egg" and what to do with it.

    I assumed it was called an Easter Egg because it was a tiny round thing that was hidden. You had to access a small compartment in one of the mazes with the bridge to obtain it, and even then it was invisible. The only way you could see it was to press your character up against a wall (it would appear as a dot). And then you could access the hidden room, provided you had done a few other things.

    The usage of the expression changed somewhat after Adventure, though. I always considered the dot itself the Easter Egg, not the fact that Warren Robinnett stuck his name somewhere in the game. However, the term began to be used popularly to describe anything hidden within a game (like the "message" in Yars' Revenge). There's even an Easter Egg in Windows!

    the kid

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    yeah, easter eggs have cropped up all over the place.. most of the time i'd be willing to bet that it's the developers' idea of a joke.. Anyone ever found the easter egg in one of the maps on Duke Nukem 3d, by turning on the Noclip cheat? (I dont remember where exactly, but if you use noclip and fly over to a room that has one of those green shrink-ray launchers in it, it seems to be an empty room -- until you turn on night-vision glasses! Then a message on the wall lights up... "YOU SHOULDN'T BE HERE." )

    Personally, I never did know about the "Adventure" easter egg, while i was always a fan of that game.. Maybe I should blow the dust off my 2600 and go find it.. (or just download the rom.) I always associated the term 'easter egg' with finding a hidden object (message, room, etc) in a game.

    (side note; My personal favorite easter egg (on the humor factor) has got to be the Quake 2 endgame "cyborg orgy"... I find that one to be absolutely hilarious)
    "The box said, 'Windows 98 or better'.. so I installed Linux."

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