Google has become a household name, a verb, and the one with all the answers. Since Google started decorating their homepage with popular doodles, they have been entertaining and educating everyone that opens their webpage. Every doodle incorporates the Google letters, either transforming them into parts of the characters portrayed or as part of the scenery somewhere in the background.
The Google page will tell you that the idea to adjust the logo started in 1998, when the company’s founders were away for a few days. In 2000 the googlers became more serious about their doodles when they asked an intern, who is currently the webmaster, to create a doodle for Bastille Day, the 14th of July. Reactions all over the world were so enthusiastic that the idea of the doodle took root, and today over 1000 doodles have been featured on the Google homepages worldwide.
Doodles these days have traveled a long way from the original stick puppet, as proven by yesterday’s doodle commemorating the 46th anniversary of Star Trek. Arbitrary as that may seem, not many other people celebrate 46th anniversaries, the doodle features the letters as iconic Star Trek characters, and entices trekkies and laymen alike to click on parts of the doodle to play animated re-enactments of famous Star trek lore. We could all feel like Scottie for a moment when a precise click of your mouse beamed up the E and O.
During the Olympics this summer, Google treated us to a new Olympic doodle every day, as they have done since the 2000 Olympics. Different sports were featured, and some of the doodles were little interactive games that could be played using arrow keys to move the characters around. Zooming little rowboats through a river would score points, and many desktops in offices around the world saw a few minutes of game-playing during the day.
National holidays, birthdays of poets, singers, architects, and artists are commemorated by doodles that inform and educate the users of the search engine. When opening the page intent on searching for an answer the user finds a doodle. Because hovering over the Google image will tell you what it refers to, many will continue typing that in the search bar, instead of their original query. It is a fun and smart way to draw attention to people and subject matters that are maybe not known to all, and the five minutes reading up on what or whomever had been doodled that day adds a little bit more obscure knowledge to the unsuspecting user.
Doodles, interactive or not, add some entertainment to the day, they spark conversations and are informative. Most of all they are fun. And they are fast becoming a little art form onto themselves.
Egyptian doodles have featured Naguib Mahfouz, Om Kalthoum, Mahmoud Mokhtar and of course the elections, to name but a few.