YouTube goes retro for Geek Week

25 Jul 2013

As YouTube gears up for its first ever Geek Week, Easter eggs have been promised. The fun starts here with a code that needs cracking in order to dial back the clock to the days of early computing and give the YouTube homepage a retro makeover.

YouTube tweeted the code yesterday along with the hashtag #GeekWeek.

Quick codebreakers soon cracked it and revealed the term “/ geek week”, which, when typed into the YouTube search bar, turns the site’s homepage into a blast from the past with ASCII characters only, no graphics or videos to be seen.

Links to videos still work just fine, but clicking away from the retro homepage will revert a user back to the usual YouTube layout.

The YouTube logo even gets a redesign, with the dates for Geek Week stamped across the bottom. The special week of programming dedicated to sci-fi, superheroes, gaming, comics and science runs from 4 to 10 August and comes from a partnership between YouTube and Nerdist in the US, and Channel Flip in the UK.


Each day will explore a different geeky topic, from Blockbuster Sunday through to Fan Friday, and all wrapped up with Best of Geek Week Saturday. Each segment will be hosted by different selected channels and – as well as new videos, playlists and web series episodes, there’ll also be a live-streamed Guinness World Records gaming attempt and the return of cult British children’s TV show Knightmare, among other things.

More than half of the top 20 non-music channels on YouTube are dedicated to geek culture, and this week gives the video platform a chance to highlight more than 100 geeky channels like Geek & Sundry, Head Squeeze, Veritasium and YOMYOMF. It follows May’s Comedy Week, when YouTube’s comedians were given the spotlight.

YouTube has promised more Easter eggs in the lead-up to Geek Week, for which 3l33t (that’s ‘elite’, to non-leetspeakers) geeks can earn badges of honour.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic