Bank of Canada hides Space Invaders-themed game on website featuring new Viola Desmond banknote

The Bank of Canada has hidden a digital Easter egg in its website celebrating the new $10 bill featuring civil rights activist Viola Desmond, unveiled Thursday in Halifax.

Last year's Easter Egg drove hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Bank of Canada's website

The Bank of Canada has hidden a version of the Space Invaders video game in its new website celebrating the new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond. (CBC/Bank of Canada)

The Bank of Canada has hidden a digital Easter egg in its website celebrating the new $10 bill featuring civil rights activist Viola Desmond, unveiled Thursday in Halifax.

Visitors to the website see a 3D image of the bill with a button below it. Clicking on the button spins the bill around and around. Press the button enough times and visitors are taken to a page where they can play a version of the classic Space Invaders video game called 'Inflation Busters'.

"The Easter egg was intended as a fun way from our web team to drive digital communities, those who might be interested in the website's design, or how it's used technology, back to the broader theme of the note," said Jeremy Harrison, managing director of communications for the Bank of Canada.

The Bank of Canada's Viola Desmond Easter egg video game designed to drive traffic to the Bank's website. 0:55

Harrison said the bank saw a lot of people engage with the website last year because of the Easter egg, and it wanted to do something for the new $10 bill that would have the same kind of impact.

At the end of the game, players can click on various social media share buttons that appear on the screen. Once they do, their followers on social media who click on the link are sent back to the website to experience the Viola Desmond story.

This is not the first time the bank has used a digital Easter egg to drive traffic to its website. Last year, the Bank used the same trick to draw people into its messaging on the Canada 150 commemorative $10 bill.

Wanda Robson, right, sister of Viola Desmond, admires the new $10 banknote with Finance Minister Bill Morneau during an event in Halifax on Thursday. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

Once on the site, visitors who correctly entered a series of keystrokes would see dozens of animated banknotes floating down the screen to the tune of O Canada.

(The key sequence is: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a.)

The bank says that website had 1.5 million views and estimates that hundreds of thousands of those visits came from people interested in finding the Easter egg.

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