On the hunt for Easter eggs: GVSU home pages have hidden features

On the hunt for Easter eggs: GVSU home pages have hidden features

Briana Doolan

Go to Grand Valley State University’s home page and try this sequence: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A – did anything happen? How about GVSU’s library home page – on the left hand side, about halfway down the page, there is a hyphen – click it.

You should have unlocked a mini-game on each page, and there’s more where that came from.

In fact, GVSU’s website is filled with Easter eggs – no, not the plastic ones filled with candy – but hidden features that can be found through a sequence of buttons or by clicking something on the page.

While these are primarily created just for fun, Ben Rapin, web manager for the Office of Institutional Marketing, said the last Easter egg went viral and drew roughly 170,000 visitors from around the globe to check out the home page in a 24-hour period.

“We get several phone calls and emails from staff, and we see many students spreading the word across social media sites when they find new Easter eggs,” Rapin said.

Easter eggs, in one form or another, have appeared on the last two versions of the GVSU home page, over the span of four years. On the last home page a user could click on the clock tower and the carillon bells would play.

“Over the years we’ve seen a number of sites with Easter eggs, and have found pages dedicated to listing the Easter eggs found across the Internet. The current Easter egg was inspired by a similar game found on a French presidential candidate’s website,” Rapin said. “There is a great deal of work involved in creating a new home page – the design and development process can take months. Adding an Easter egg gives us an opportunity to add a fun element to the project: both for the team here and the visitors to the site.”

Rapin said he likes to wait for page visitors to find the Easter eggs before telling people about them, but he says all the Easter eggs that currently exist have been found.
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