Five of My Favorite Easter Eggs in Gaming

3pmegamanstyleBefore I get into the nitty-gritty of the topic at hand, let me first say I hope you’re all having a great day, regardless of what you celebrate. It’s been a rough time for a lot of folks, but hopefully, if you want to be socializing or celebrating, you’re finding a responsible and satisfying way to do it!

That said, today is Easter- so what better time to talk a little bit about some of my favorite Easter Eggs? I know plenty of folks have heard of the term, but to give a bit of history on it, the term “Easter Egg” refers to a piece of programming in a game that is hidden and meant to be found by people playing the game with a little bit of effort. While they aren’t always left in on purpose, almost all of them are put in deliberately as something fun to trip across. While it wasn’t the earliest example- plenty have been found since the term was coined- the origin of the concept came from the game Adventure on the Atari 2600 as a way for the programmer, Warren Robinette, to be credited for his work since games at the time didn’t have credits as a way to retain their talent. No credits meant no chance their programmers could be enticed to another company.

Intrepid enthusiasts have found more examples from games before Adventure, and Easter Eggs have become less career necessary and more referential and quirky for the most part. Out of all of the Eggs that have been hidden, here are a few personal favorites: Continue reading

A Nine-Point Guide on How to Scare The3rdPlayer

20160731192339_1.jpgI would never call myself an expert on horror. I’ve watched a ton of horror films and played my weight in horror games so I’m no stranger to the tricks and tropes of the trade, either. I’ve gained enough of a reputation to be considered an aficionado, though, somewhere closer to an expert than a layman. What I do know is that after spending probably half of my life taking in an appreciated horror media is that I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

Something I’ve talked to a few folks on Twitter and in my life about is not necessarily what is done well or isn’t but what actually works to give you the creeps and keep you entertained. When it comes to films, for instance, a solid slasher movie will keep me watching while a lot of movies with possession or vampires don’t tend to strike the right chords for me. On the other hand, I know people who have the exact opposite inclinations. Some people are claustrophobic and can’t take certain camera angles. I know plenty of folks who can’t stand when movies victimize children because it feels like low hanging fruit for the sake of a reaction.

Games are a little different, though. There’s another level of immersion because you’re the one controlling the person going through the ordeal. By extension, these things are happening to you and if you want to finish the game, you’re going to go through a gauntlet of jumps, creeps, and “You Died” screens to see the end and find salvation. How do you know which horror games are for you, though? Do certain mechanics work more effectively toward embedding that dread into your bones? Are there effects that make you roll your eyes a bit or get so frustrated that you need to put your controller down for a minute to compose yourself?

Allow me to open up my own discussion with five ways that games can creep me out- and four ways a number of games have rubbed me the wrong way while trying. As always, since this is discussing a multitude of game mechanics and situations from video games, there will be spoilers below. Nothing that will ruin a game entirely, but it may take some of the punch out of some scares you might not want ruined. Consider yourself warned!
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