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Defiant Programming: The Culture of Easter Eggs and its Fandom
Unformatted Document Text:  12 physical activity, engaging in pranks or jokes and a focus on athleticism or sportsmanship. This type of behavior, Rotundo argues, was normal and in fact necessary in order for young men to establish independent, mature identities (1998). However, as Jenkins explained in testimony given before the US Senate Commerce Committee after the school shootings at Columbine (1999), recent years have seen the diminishing of physical space for young men to engage in these activities, for reasons ranging from decreased safety to changing domestic spaces. The result of this shift has been a prominent turn to other, more domesticated activities such as video games or other technological endeavors, which according to Jenkins, allows young men a similar release formerly found in physical or athletic activities: that is, a platform on which to express their competitiveness, pursue achievements, gain the respect of their peers and establish a sense of identity. In applying the boy culture theory to the world of hacking, Thomas argues that the act of hacking is in itself an expression of this “healthy” boy culture drive to establish oneself in contrast to the formal world of rules and regulations (2002). When discussing a documentary made by hackers themselves about their “work”, Thomas says: The break-in and the subsequent activities are replete with the values of boy culture – expressions of hostility towards authority and constant statements of the hackers’ own values and needs. It is a prototype for what Anthony Rotundo describes as an exciting way to attack the dignity of the adult world (2002) Similarly, the act of Easter egging can be seen as an act of defiance aimed at the controlling forces which the programmer deals with in their daily life. I am not, however, arguing that Easter egging and hacking are the same type of activity. On the contrary, I

Authors: Temkin, Einat.
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12
physical activity, engaging in pranks or jokes and a focus on athleticism or
sportsmanship. This type of behavior, Rotundo argues, was normal and in fact necessary
in order for young men to establish independent, mature identities (1998). However, as
Jenkins explained in testimony given before the US Senate Commerce Committee after
the school shootings at Columbine (1999), recent years have seen the diminishing of
physical space for young men to engage in these activities, for reasons ranging from
decreased safety to changing domestic spaces. The result of this shift has been a
prominent turn to other, more domesticated activities such as video games or other
technological endeavors, which according to Jenkins, allows young men a similar release
formerly found in physical or athletic activities: that is, a platform on which to express
their competitiveness, pursue achievements, gain the respect of their peers and establish a
sense of identity.
In applying the boy culture theory to the world of hacking, Thomas argues that
the act of hacking is in itself an expression of this “healthy” boy culture drive to establish
oneself in contrast to the formal world of rules and regulations (2002). When discussing a
documentary made by hackers themselves about their “work”, Thomas says:
The break-in and the subsequent activities are replete with the values of boy
culture – expressions of hostility towards authority and constant statements of
the hackers’ own values and needs. It is a prototype for what Anthony
Rotundo describes as an exciting way to attack the dignity of the adult world
(2002)
Similarly, the act of Easter egging can be seen as an act of defiance aimed at the
controlling forces which the programmer deals with in their daily life. I am not, however,
arguing that Easter egging and hacking are the same type of activity. On the contrary, I


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