The Magic of Secrets

All sorts of entertainment media use the concept of secrets to add intrigue and evoke a powerful emotional reaction. A strong effect of unveiling a secret can be the validation of the observer’s perceptiveness and reasoning; a wink wink, nudge nudge for being such a smart cookie.


Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas' Hot Coffee mod. Despite the scandal this polygonal sex caused, it was not a real videogame secret.

However, most forms of media tend to be strictly passive. Aside from the occasional dabbling in interaction, the audience exerts no direct influence over the medium’s content.

Games — and videogames in particular —¬†are inherently different. They are interactive and require players, not just observers.

There are plenty of lists online cataloguing the “best secrets in videogames,” but before we delve into this discussion, let’s actually define the term:

Secret, n.

  1. Something kept hidden from others or known only to oneself or to a few.
  2. Designed to elude observation or detection.

Now let’s apply this denotation to design in videogames.

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