If you type the words 'Konami Code' into Twitter you'll find hundreds of recent messages about a new magazine website Easter egg, a viral that has delighted many thousands of people in the past few days.
The same words in 'Google News' will yield reports from game sites, online culture buckets and even fashion brands, in many languages, about the use of the code on, among others, Vogue magazine's UK site. Rarely in its 17-year history has the code seen such widespread use.
Visitors to Vogue UK, and other Conde Nast sites like Wired UK, Easy Living and GQ UK can type in the code (arrow keys — Up-Up Down-Down Left-Right Left-Right B-A) and be treated to a parade of velociraptors wading across screen, in fancy garb.
On Wired's page they are likely to be donning 3D viewing glasses, on Vogue it's stylish hat wear, on GQ a nice suit and on Easy Living, a pretty bow, that might also work as a table decoration.
The Konami code has become the culture's de facto short cut for video game cheats. It was originally introduced by Kazuhisa Hashimoto for 1986 NES release Gradius."The arcade version of Gradius is really difficult, right?" he later told Dorimaga magazine. "I never played it that much, and there was no way I could finish the game, so I inserted the so-called Konami code." He picked the sequence because it is, "easy to remember", which no doubt explains why it spread to other Konami games, and beyond.
In any case, its use has delighted many people these past few days, in the way that such novelties do, and will no doubt lead to many imitations. If you have not committed the Konami code to memory, now's your chance to catch up on an almost-forgotten entity from gaming's early years, now come back to life.