Google is undoubtedly one of the most creative companies in the world right now. Its myriad services are nigh on ubiquitous on the internet and the vast amount of data it collects allows the company unprecedented insight into how people use its services and how it can improve them further. Google has easily kept its competitive edge over its competitors in the internet services domain.
Why Google Does These Playful Ventures
That being said, Google is hardly your traditional suit and tie corporate monolith. Google and the rest of the Silicon Valley companies eschew traditional corporate culture and it is well known that Google embodies that philosophy better than anyone else. It has slides and swings inside its offices, it allows employees to take breaks for naps during the work day, it offers bikes to employees for getting around its vast Mountain View campus. Google has always encouraged a playful attitude in association with its work.
Google Praises Innovation and Creativity
That is why it is not at all a surprise that Google has snuck in quite a few easter eggs in many of its flagship products. These easter eggs are implemented simply to make the user smile and give the developers an inside joke to talk about. That however hasn’t stopped from these little hidden tricks to be publicised widely on the internet so that they can be enjoyed by everyone. To that end, Google Gravity was one of the first ones that gained worldwide popularity and hilarity. In that vein, many other such playful implementations have been made by many enterprising programmers with their tongue stuck firmly in their cheek.
What Is Google Gravity
Typing in “Google Gravity” and clicking on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button under the search bar has the immediate effect of all the various site elements like the Google logo, the search bar, the various buttons, and the top bar to tumble down to the bottom of the page as if suddenly affected by gravity.
Why Google Gravity is So Popular
What makes this trick really neat is that the individual elements retain their functionality. While the search box might be lying at the bottom of the page in a heap, take your mouse pointer over it and you will see that it turns into a text cursor, implying that the box is still functional. In fact, you can still use the page as a regular Google page by typing in your search query in the box and clicking on the “search” button.
Google Homepage Still Works
The other buttons for Gmail, Calendar, etc. remain functional as well. You can also fling those little pieces around the page by holding down your mouse button and dragging them about the page in one motion while releasing the button. This has the effect of making it seem like the little block is being thrown around the page.
This Trick Never Gets Old
The Google Gravity trick is quite old, but never ceases to be fun. You can spend hours on this little page that seemingly does no unique thing. However, it is quite in line with Google’s unique approach to creativity in its products. Most of us know and love the Google Doodles, which is just the Google logo modified in order to commemorate an important date or significant event in history. The Google Gravity trick is just one in a host of many interesting Google easter eggs.
Google Anti Gravity
This trick is known by many varying names such as “space” or “zero gravity”. Just type in “Google Space” in the Google homepage and click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button and you will see a Google homepage with the various homepage elements just floating around the page as if in space, experiencing no gravitational pull. If “Google Gravity” made all the buttons and other elements crash down to the bottom of the page in a heap, “Google Space” makes them float about the page. You can drag them around the page and fling them at other objects and watch them collide.
Google Anti Gravity All elements are functional All elements are functional
As with the original “Google Gravity” trick, all the different parts floating around retain their functionality. You can still click on the floating block labeled “Gmail” and go to the Gmail page. You can still type in the floating search bar and click on the “Search” button, wherever it may be, and get a new page with the relevant search results.
Super difficult to make and yet so fun!
You also see that the objects do indeed behave according to the laws of physics in that if you grab the long search bar by its corner while you drag it, it begins to rotate just as it would in real life. It is actually quite a fun way to teach children the idea behind transfer of momentum, to be honest. However, it is also simply a very fun trick that you can do to kill some time. The ingenuity that went into designing a page as fun as this can definitely be appreciated and will definitely entertain you for hours on end.
Typing in “Google Underwater” in the search bar in the Google home page and clicking on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button takes you to what is obviously a third party page designed to resemble a Google homepage but filled with water. You can see aquatic animals and fishes floating about and the Google logo, the search bar, etc. floating on the surface of the water. While some prominently placed buttons for some other features spoils the look of the page significantly, the underwater theme remains event and obvious.
The site still works like a regular Google page
You can use your mouse pointer to interact with the various site elements like the search bar; the site retains functionality. Although the search bar and the buttons might be floating about the surface of the water, they are fully functional. Typing in a search query in the search bar and clicking “Search” will still open a search results page like any other regular Google search will. You can use your mouse to make waves in the water and even interact with the fishes.
Relatively well made but can do better
The water element restricts the motion of the site elements to the top half of the page, restricting the area over which they might move by a significant measure. Playing around with the page is still a lot of fun.
Development work is of slightly lower quality
However, it is also evident that the page was put together in a much shoddier manner than the Google Gravity or Google Space pages. Those pages really feel like some work was put into execution. Not so with the Google Underwater page. Not everything you see in the page is clickable; the fishes in the background are not too responsive and only pause briefly when you click on them before continuing on their predefined path across the page.
Some more flaws
Clicking on the water creates huge splashes that dissipate far too quickly and without much variation between the effects created by subsequent clicks of varying duration. This is nit-picking, but it definitely feels like a trick on the Google homepage ought to have the same polish and good feel as do all of Google’s products.
A good easter egg all things considered
This is definitely a spoiled attitude, but it is not like we can do anything about it, can we? The level of quality and functionality that we have come to expect from Google and by association, anything that bears its name (whether it be an official product or not), has been tremendously high and it is almost criminally unfair to expect individual developers and creative individuals working on a pet project or hobby at home in their fair time to match that kind of look and functionality. Google Underwater is still a compelling idea, maybe not in the same league as Google Gravity or Google Space but interesting nonetheless.
This is one of the most popular Google tricks you can find and also one of the earliest. Typing in “do a barrel roll” in the Google search bar makes the entire web page turn 360 degrees, making it look like the page is doing a barrel roll. This is also from a time when webpages were professionally made; “fun” was not a word that was used to describe a webpage, let alone the page showing a big internet company’s flagship product. So it was in fact a very bold move on Google’s part.
One of the oldest easter eggs from Google
The gamble paid off. Google gained huge publicity over this trick and it made millions laugh. This was one of the first avenues that showed us Google’s lighter side, making it obvious that the company was not shy about sneaking in a few little idiosyncrasies for the enjoyment of its more inquisitive users.
Zerg Rush is a mini game built into the Google search results page. When you type in Zerg Rush in the Search bar, brightly colored zeros start falling from the top of the webpage. Your aim is to hit as many of those zeros as you can using your mouse pointer. Those zeros resembled tiny bombs; if enough of them hit a particular search result, it is destroyed from page. You need to try it out to get the full sense of it, but it is definitely a very interesting game.
A nod to the nerds in the crowd
The game is modeled after the popular game StarCraft where you fight an alien race called Zergs. Zergs are insectoids and in order to defeat them you have to blitz them with artillery from all directions by first amassing your forces and surrounding them with a line of fire. This move is called “Rush”. Zerg Rush was a major nod to the game which saw its popularity increase by large numbers after this trick became public.
A niche appeal for the first time
While players of this game loved this trick since they already knew about it, people who were not acquainted with the game were understandably intrigued by the apparently nonsensical phrase that was used to initiate this easter egg. This is a very good example of the tremendous power Google holds in present day. Used on a daily basis by millions of people, Google is almost synonymous with the internet and its actions can have far reaching consequences on many other people.
Pacman is one of the world’s most famous games. It is an integral part of popular culture today and is also one of the most recognizable. Although we do not really associate computer games with mainstream culture, Pacman has pervaded our society to such an extent that the games, its characters, its soundtrack, its aesthetic can be recognized by almost anyone and not just “gamers”.
The Google take on a classic retro game
No surprise then that someone made a tribute to the legendary game by fashioning it into a Google logo. Searching for Google Pacman takes you to a page where you are greeted with a Google logo that is also a perfectly playable version of Pacman. You can use your cursor keys to guide the little yellow dot around the maze that makes up the bulk of the logo, devouring the little dots that trail the halls of the maze while dodging the little monsters that chase around the maze. It is an exciting bit of retro fun that resonates with people of all ages.
Pacman still amazes us and enthrals us
The fact that Pacman has retained relevance in the modern age of computer games where photorealistic effects and graphics are the standard is proof of its enduring popularity and intrinsic cultural capital. The Google Pacman trick is just a particularly creative manifestation of how elegantly a tribute to one of the most famous games of all time can be superimposed with one of the most recognizable corporate logos of all time; we are sure that this trick would not have been nearly as popular as it is if the maze would have resembled the logo of some other company like General Motors or FedEx. This trick is testament to the fact that Google is such an important part of our lives and anything that it touches is boosted in value and visibility and the apparent quality.