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Defiant Programming: The Culture of Easter Eggs and its Fandom
Unformatted Document Text:  7 Such Easter eggs can usually be found by the users themselves by simply entering provocative or otherwise unusual search terms into the forms on these websites. Similarly, most DVD Easter eggs can be found by viewers at home by clicking on different areas of the screen, highlighting words in the DVD menu, etc. This type of Easter egg is receiving a great deal of attention in the press (Perigard, 2002; Rowan, 2002; Russo, 2002), since DVD companies have taken a different approach to the use of Easter eggs in their products than the software companies. While the latter are constantly battling against the Easter egg phenomenon, the DVD companies have discovered that Easter eggs can be used as a marketing tool, promoting sales of DVDs by proudly boasting about the quality and quantity of “secrets” hidden among the menus and options on the disc. Therefore, the Easter eggs are not as much hidden on DVDs as they are thinly disguised and hinted at, with the purpose of creating a playful dialogue with the viewer. The experienced or perceptive viewer has only to experiment for a while, highlighting different sections of the menus or icons on the screen, etc. The incorporation of Easter eggs into the entertainment industry’s corporate strategies is indicative of their appeal to a broad audience, which has its roots in the traditional software Easter eggs community. The contrasting attitude regarding Easter egging in the software industry is a direct result of the constant tension between the programmers and the financial and institutional structures within which they operate, and this tension will be a main focus in my analysis. I start therefore, with the issue of production of Easter eggs in the computing world, and in particular with an examination of the relationship between the software programmers who create the eggs and the companies for which they work. Most

Authors: Temkin, Einat.
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7
Such Easter eggs can usually be found by the users themselves by simply entering
provocative or otherwise unusual search terms into the forms on these websites.
Similarly, most DVD Easter eggs can be found by viewers at home by clicking on
different areas of the screen, highlighting words in the DVD menu, etc. This type of
Easter egg is receiving a great deal of attention in the press (Perigard, 2002; Rowan,
2002; Russo, 2002), since DVD companies have taken a different approach to the use of
Easter eggs in their products than the software companies. While the latter are constantly
battling against the Easter egg phenomenon, the DVD companies have discovered that
Easter eggs can be used as a marketing tool, promoting sales of DVDs by proudly
boasting about the quality and quantity of “secrets” hidden among the menus and options
on the disc. Therefore, the Easter eggs are not as much hidden on DVDs as they are
thinly disguised and hinted at, with the purpose of creating a playful dialogue with the
viewer. The experienced or perceptive viewer has only to experiment for a while,
highlighting different sections of the menus or icons on the screen, etc. The incorporation
of Easter eggs into the entertainment industry’s corporate strategies is indicative of their
appeal to a broad audience, which has its roots in the traditional software Easter eggs
community. The contrasting attitude regarding Easter egging in the software industry is a
direct result of the constant tension between the programmers and the financial and
institutional structures within which they operate, and this tension will be a main focus in
my analysis.
I start therefore, with the issue of production of Easter eggs in the computing
world, and in particular with an examination of the relationship between the software
programmers who create the eggs and the companies for which they work. Most


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