Please note: This PhD seminar will be given online.
Matthew Lakier, PhD candidate
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
Supervisor: Professor Daniel Vogel
“Easter eggs” are features hidden inside software, and the practice of developers including them is a long-standing global phenomenon. They have seen some investigation in the context of games, but despite their prevalence in non-game software applications, their nature within this context is less clear.
We perform a qualitative, investigative analysis of Easter eggs in non-game software application contexts, using primarily archival research including discussion forums, social media posts, and user-created online databases, along with select developer interviews. Our work uncovers the stories behind, motivations for creating, and intended perceptions of Easter eggs, which we present as categories of purposes with illustrative examples. This analysis also informs a categorization and discussion of processes that Easter eggs undergo concerning the social and emotional circumstances of their developers and users. Finally, we use our results to motivate future directions for applying Easter eggs in user interfaces.
To join this PhD seminar on Zoom, please go to https://uwaterloo.zoom.us/j/99570401141.
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