The season of the eggs is here in April. Welcoming the Spring, flowers are blooming and the Easter celebration is just around. To make a fun celebration, we usually go for an egg hunt in the garden or inside the house. This concept of hunting then goes implied for various things in culture such as movies. You must be familiar with Easter eggs in movies too. Here's what's about to know the term that begins to rocket in pop culture!
While most people connect "easter eggs" with superhero movies, Star Wars in-jokes, and the like, the term really comes from the history of video games. The term "easter egg" was first used in reference to something other than actual holiday-themed scavenger hunts in 1980, when Steve Wright, director of software development at Atari Consumer Division, coined the phrase to describe a small wink to game fans hidden in the company's video game Adventure.
The adventure was an Atari 2600 game released in 1980 by programmer Warren Robinett in which players play as a high-fantasy hero (but really a pixelated square) who wandered through an open world of dungeons and dragons in order to retrieve a magical chalice that needed to be returned to the Golden Castle. The first easter egg, however, is situated deep within one of the game's tunnels, entirely disconnected from the more conventional path that the aforementioned avatar must take to pick up a key and go through an off-screen wall. In reality, Robinett took the credit for himself.
"Designed by Warren Robinett," it says. The easter egg was included by the game's designer after he spent more than a year developing the game and was annoyed (among other things) by Atari's policy of not acknowledging its programmers in the game.
Thus he slipped this "egg" into the experience, which Atari only discovered after Robinett departed the business and the game had been delivered. As a result, the term "easter egg" was developed. because it's a wonderful little surprise for players to find, much like the spoils of an Easter treasure hunt.
This is not the first Easter egg in a video game. The title may go to Moonlander (1973), a video game in which players seeking to pull a Neil Armstrong may uncover a hidden McDonald's on the moon and go have a cheeseburger and fries instead of completing the game's goal. However, Adventure was the first time an Easter egg was created in secret and labeled as such.
Ernest Cline's 2011 novel Ready Player One substantially extended the significance of this incident in the twenty-first century. While the Adventure incident is only mentioned in passing, the book as a whole helped popularize the term "easter egg" in geek culture and beyond by framing its entire story around a hunt for an all-powerful egg, the location of which can be discovered by finding keys and gates hidden throughout the vast virtual universe known as the OASIS.
And Cline's own scripted adaptation of that book in the Steven Spielberg movie version of Ready Player One (released in 2018) raised awareness for the original Adventure easter egg to even greater heights by building the entire climax pivot around the movie's protagonist playing the Adventure Atari game in order to find the final key that will give him access to the OASIS' ultimate easter egg.
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Simply put, movie Easter eggs are cleverly inserted allusions, inside jokes, or narrative development hints within the on-screen action. We frequently see these aspects designed in such a way that even the most trained eye would miss them, implying that you must watch a scene many times to fully get the notion. And this isn't a new phenomenon.
Easter eggs have appeared in the media since the dawn of cinema. These concealed features can serve a variety of functions, ranging from subtle barbs at political regimes to references to the filmmakers' significant influences.
For example, in Steven Spielberg's Back to the Future, Marty McFly mistakenly knocks down a pine tree in the past directly next to the future Twin Pines mall. As he returns to the present, the neighborhood mall is known as Lone Pines rather than Twin Pines. It's a subtle joke that often goes overlooked, but for those who are paying attention, it's an interesting pick-up.
When it comes to why hidden elements in movies and games are referred to as Easter eggs, two schools of thought developed in the late 1970s. The first is the renowned stage-to-screen adaptation of Rocky Horror Picture Show, where tradition has it that the cast enjoyed an egg hunt on site before production began.
Sadly, those who concealed the eggs were a little too cunning, and not all of them were discovered before the cameras began filming. As a consequence, three recognized Easter eggs reached the final cut and are buried in plain sight.
According to Paste Magazine, Steve Wright, the then-director of software development in the Atari Consumer Division, coined the phrase to explain a hidden message in the Atari video game Adventure. According to legend, game designer Warren Robinett was offended by his lack of recognition in the game and instead secretly programmed the message "Created by Warren Robinett" that would appear only when a player moved their avatar over a specific pixel (dubbed the gray dot) during a specific part of the game.
This would then direct them to a previously "forbidden" area of the map where they might find the message. Robinett had already left Atari when the Gray Dot was discovered, and Wright decided to keep the secret message, comparing it to an Easter Egg Hunt for players.
Since then, other video game developers and filmmakers have included Easter Eggs throughout their work, making it a fun and interactive method to communicate with big fans. Furthermore, Easter eggs have become a signature artistic choice for filmmakers such as David Fincher.