9.15.2009

Google's Crop Circle Doodle, H. G. Wells, and Zero Wing



On September 4, 2009, Google tweeted "1.12.12 25.15.21.18 15 1.18.5 2.5.12.15.14.7 20.15 21.19" in association with it's mysterious Google logo showing a UFO making off with the 2nd 'O' in its trademarked name. Using A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc., this decoded to "ALL YOUR O ARE BELONG TO US", a reference to the iconic arcade game Zero Wing, made legendary by the "All your base are belong to us" phrase (frequently shortened to simply AYBABTU). This Google 'Doodle' sparked waves of speculation as to what it all means. The 2nd 'O' seemed to have more significance given that even the file name for the picture was "go_gle.gif". Gogle?



Today, Google has a new doodle - a crop circle, again sparking waves of speculation as to what it all means.
This time, the 'L' seems to be missing and the UFO is hovering over the first 'O' in the logo. As before, Google supplied a mysterious tweet, "51.327629, -0.5616088", which turn out to be coordinates:


View Larger Map

Horsell, Surrey in the U.K. happens to be the central location for H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Also, two UFO reports were filed for this location in 1985.

So, what's the connection between H. G. Wells and Zero Wing, other than the scifi element? H. G. Wells was born on September 21, 1866. Zero Wing was released on September 21, 1989. Seems like Google is gearing up for a celebration of Zero Wing's 20th anniversary. Also, Google itself has its 11th birthday coming up, which will be celebrated anywhere from September 7th to 27th (no one really knows when its official birthday is).

Why the missing 'O'? Why the missing 'L'? Could it be the binary connection (e.g. 0 and 1)? Does the UFO hovering over the 1st 'O' in the crop circle mean it's going to be next? In the past, Google has changed it's doodle to incorporate the its age. Perhaps this is just a process of preparing to install a '11' in the name. Who knows...but it seems like a Zero Wing/Google birthday celebration to me. Just as long as it's not a celebration of Joseph Smith's visitation by the Angel Moroni!

3 comments:

Noadi said...

Look closely and you'll see the L as a path created by the tiny tractor.

I'm finding the whole thing really fun, like a little virtual scavenger hunt putting the clues together. I'm sure this was Google's intention to grab the curious.

The skepTick said...

I initially thought the tractor created the 'L', but the name of the gif 'goog_e.gif' implies the 'L' has been intentionally deleted.

Sleuth on.

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