There are many of us here at the museum who grew up playing video games. I personally remember playing old school Nintendo with my brother in the basement at my grandma’s house. He always beat me because he’d do some crazy button sequence on the controller and magically 30 lives would appear on the screen. I never knew how he did it.
When The Children’s Museum launched its new website in April, the web team talked about how we have to have a Konami code on our site. I looked around, everyone was excited, and I had to be the one person in the room to ask…”what’s that?!”
According to Wikipedia, the Konami Code was created by Kazuhisa Hashimoto, who was developing the 1985 arcade game Gradius. He found it too difficult to play so he created a cheat code to give players a full set of power. When the game launched he forgot to remove it, and players discovered the shared code thus launching the Konami code. Now there are more than 100 games that use it—from the original NES to PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms, you can do the “secret” sequence and earn extra points or unlock extra lives.
It’s all making sense now. Remind me to call my brother and challenge him to a rematch.
So what does this have to do with the world’s largest children’s museum website? Other popular websites like Buzzfeed, Vogue UK and Wired UK all have Konami codes, but only a handful of museums have ever done so…until now.
Go try it! Visit childrensmuseum.org then use the arrow keys to type in: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, enter…unlock the fun!
Our super-talented Interactive Technology Designer and Developer Jason Smith created the coolest surprise for you at the end of our Konami code. “When I was asked to create a Konami code Easter egg for our newly designed website, I knew that I wanted to create an experience that was reminiscent of the retro 8-bit platform games I grew up playing in the 80s. I remember relying on the Konami Code to defeat some challenging games and the code has stuck in my head ever since. Utilizing the latest features of HTML5, I’ve transported our beloved mascot, Rex, into the hero role of his own retro style game that can be played in modern web browsers”
We hope that web designers, gamers, kids, and families will all enjoy the game and pass the Konami code along to the next generation of video game players. In the meantime, enjoy this homage to our childhood gaming experience.