Pop Culture in Video Games: Iconic References and Easter Eggs


The thrill of discovering previously unknown content in a game is second to none. Video game enthusiasts have always been fast to spot the Easter eggs hidden throughout the games over years of play. Certain Easter eggs include background information about a game that an inexperienced player would not know, while others are merely intended to amuse the finder.

References to other works of popular culture are a common form of Easter egg content, especially in newer games. Games often include easter eggs that refer to well-known media works or figures from history or popular culture. Here are some references to popular culture hidden throughout games. 

Skyrim’s Alternative Star Wars Ending

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim contains numerous allusions to popular culture, and it would take weeks to list them all. The game has had numerous updates and ports since its first release in 2011, covering nearly every era of gaming platforms. Players who delve deep into the game’s open environment will inevitably stumble upon hidden easter eggs.

Luke Skywalker Skyrim
Pop Culture in Video Games: Iconic References and Easter Eggs

The side mission Frost Trolls in Bleakcoast Cave features an Easter egg hidden in the cave’s freezing depths. There’s a skeleton hanging from the roof by its legs, and it’s meant to represent Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi. Skywalker gets away unscathed in the movie, but his Elder Scrolls double appears to have met a much more severe end.

Legend of Zelda Games

There aren’t many pop culture references in the Legend of Zelda games, and the ones there are skillfully veiled. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, one of the best games ever made for the Nintendo 64, contains a brief allusion to NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Pop Culture in Video Games: Iconic References and Easter Eggs

Within the Deku Tree sanctuary is a mini-boss composed of three Deku Scrubs, who must be destroyed in a precise sequence. Early in the sanctuary, a Deku Scrub will tell participants the sequence (2, 3, 1) by saying, “Twenty-three is number one!” Jordan’s NBA uniform number he wore while playing for the Chicago Bulls was 23; that’s the inspiration for the number.

Casino Royale Slots

The gambling industry is a significant part of popular culture, especially in Australia. In the modern era, casinos have an impact far beyond their physical locations. This slot is based on the thrilling scenes from the famous James Bond blockbuster Casino Royale

This slot, which centres on the film from 2006, has all of your favourite protagonists and scenarios from the movie. Watch as animated decks of cards move throughout the display as you play free slots or jackpots as you visit GambleOnlineAustralia with Vesper and James Bond.

Online gambling has been around for quite some time, but that hasn’t stopped it from being a key part of most people’s leisure time. And in some way or another, the casino has seeped into mainstream culture. Casinos have had both a subtle and a visible impact on popular culture.


Similar to Skyrim, the series of Borderlands incorporates pop culture references throughout the narrative. Many pop culture allusions are hidden among the different trophies, objectives, and personalities. There are the SNL-inspired bodyguards Hanz and Franz and Back to the Future: The Movie-style references to Doc Brown in Patricia Tannis’s lines of conversation.

Pop Culture in Video Games: Iconic References and Easter Eggs

One of the most fun references to popular culture is the “Boom Stick” weapon players can acquire. As seen in the third film in the Evil Dead series, Army of Darkness, Ash Williams wields a shotgun that has become synonymous with the character. That’s right, much like in the original Borderlands, gamers can say, “This is my BOOM STICK!” like Bruce Campbell.


In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the dynamic environment around the convergence of online gaming and pop culture. The manners in which individuals communicate and connect in these digital environments are evolving with the technology that supports them.

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