Thanks to an eagle eyed Astroengine.com reader, we may have an answer to the current Google doodle conundrum. Having spent a lot of last night following the mystery trail from crop circles, to Woking, to War of the Worlds, to H. G. Wells… I was stuck. The only thing that made this time of the year special was the fact that it’s H. G. Wells’ 143rd birthday on Monday.
For the complete background, check out last night’s post.
However, in keeping with Google’s previous tribute to the classic computer game Zero Wing, could this new puzzle relate to another game? StockbrdigeT thinks this might be the case:
Today’s clue is co-ordinates that only have significance in their relation to War of the Worlds. Today is also what appears to be the 30th anniversary of the release of the War of the World Arcade game (the original monochrome version, not the 1983 color version).
So I had a look around, and indeed there was a (very rare) War of the Worlds arcade game released in 1979. There was a colour follow-up version in 1982 as well (a screenshot is shown above). From Wikipedia:
The War of the Worlds is an arcade game based on the H. G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds. There were two versions of this game, identical in gameplay but differing in graphics. The first version was released by Cinematronics in 1979, and featured black and white vector graphics. A color version was later made in 1982.
The War of the Worlds arcade game, developed by the pioneering company Cinematronics, was one of the first games to use vector graphics (the very first Cinematronics game to use vector graphics was Space Wars, released in 1977).
So, what has this got to do with the Google doodle? Remember I was trying to find an explanation for the missing “l”? In actuality, the “l” in “Google” isn’t missing (as pointed out by another commenter, jurl), it’s there, but it’s in the process of being drawn by the little combine harvester in the crop.
I think that the Google logo is a celebration of one of the first uses of vector graphics in computer games — the “l” represents a vector being drawn by graphics software (i.e. the combine harvester).
So, the best I can do is the doodle is a celebration of:
- H. G. Wells’ birthday on September 21st.
- the 30th anniversary of the release of the War of the Worlds arcade game.
- the first uses of vector graphics in computer games.
If that’s not it, I give up!