Monday, January 11, 2010

Long Hidden Easter Eggs

As we have a 4 year old daughter, computer games have become part of the background noise in our household. One of the popular games at the moment is Pajama Sam 2. It was published in 1998, and we'll see in a moment why that is relevant.

Pajama Sam Boardroom scene

One scene in the game involves the Chairman of the Board brainstorming who should fill the empty board seat with the other board members. As it is a kids game the Chairman is an overstuffed seat, and the board members are anthropomorphic lumber. Of course. The dialog is complete filler, chosen at random from a small set of snippets:

Board Member: "Did I suggest Bernie from Research?"
Chairman: "Yes."
Board Member: "Did I already mention Bill, the Security guy?"
Chairman: "Yes."
Board Member: "Did somebody suggest the supply clerk?"
Chairman: "Yes."

There is one more snippet, weighted to be played with very low probability. I only happened to hear it once, when the game was left running for an hour. The developers had a little joke.

Board Member: "Maybe we could get Gil Amelio to be on the board."
Chairman: "I'd prefer an internal candidate."

Gil Amelio was the CEO of Apple at the time. Pajama Sam ran on both Windows and Macintosh, which was rather unusual for 1998. That was the deepest part of the "beleaguered Apple" period, where the death and dismemberment of the company was predicted daily.

This is funny for the parents, of course, because a corporate Board is supposed to consist mainly of outside directors to prevent excessive inward focus and make the company more Oh, nevermind.

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