ABC, the producers of LOST, and Australian digital entertainment company Hoodlum walked away from last night’s Emmy Awards with the award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Fiction for their work on the alternate reality game Dharma Wants You. ABC secured a win from its NBC competition, beating out both The 30 Rock Digital Experience and The Office Digital Experience for the award.
The game, centering around the now-defunct website DharmaWantsYou.com, subjected participants to a series of tests administered by Octagon Global Recruiting on behalf of the Dharma Initiative. Each test included a cheat function, allowing savvy players to achieve higher scores. Participants taking advantage of the cheats were eventually sorted into the Black Swan groups, while those who played “fairly” were placed into the White Swan Group.
According to Hoodlum, Dharma Wants You utilized a “variety of media platforms ranging from websites, exclusive video, interactive games, Bluetooth, mobile, TV, VOIP, social networks, and complex real-world events involving hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.” Spanning the gap between the fourth and fifth seasons of LOST, Dharma Wants You is ABC’s third alternate reality game for the show.
The show’s first alternate reality game, The Lost Experience, captured a dedicated global audience, while the show’s second ARG, Find 815, secured a nomination for a Primetime Emmy in 2008. LOST is currently promoting the release of the season five DVDs with Lost University, an in-depth look at the show’s mythology. Enrollment at the university is slated to commence tomorrow.
Click Here for our previous coverage of Dharma Wants You.
As soon as the Octagon Global Recruiting ad flashed across the television screen during the final commercial break of the season four finale of Lost, fans were on their computers, headed towards the advertised web site. It wasn’t more than a few moments before the world figured out that something big was bound to happen at Comic-Con 2008, which is happening right now in San Diego. True to their word, the Dharma Initiative is actively recruiting new members for its global corporation, and quite a few lucky attendees have had the chance to take the test to become part of the Dharma team. For those unable to attend, a sister web site is all we get for now, but rumors swirl that claim that the new Lost ARG is scheduled to make a move to the mainstream starting tomorrow.
The events at Comic-Con were disclosed through an email sent out to those who submitted their emails to the Octagon Global Recruiting (OGR) web site, which also appears at the site itself. One thing to note here — if you view the source of the web page version, an interesting message from someone calling themselves RuckusGuy shows up — we won’t spoil it for you, but it involves Bluetooth, which we’ll get to later.
Reports about the events in San Diego are still coming in, but according to the fine folks at Lostpedia, the team from Dharma have Australian accents and are vehement as to their purpose at the Con — a member of the Lostpedia forums claims to have overheard one of the recruiters saying, “Yes. We’re an actual REAL organization currently trying to recruit new members,” to a curious onlooker. The test itself takes about five minutes, and involves a few oddball questions as well as some interesting images shown on audio/visual equipment. To make sure everyone at the Con was aware of the campaign, Dharma ‘sponsored’ Saturday’s panel discussion at which executive producers Cartlon Cuse and Damon Lindelof were joined by actor Matthew Fox to answer questions about the hit television series. However, the sponsorship was quickly pulled when a test applicant — most likely a paid actor — interrupted the discussion to show a new video featuring Dr. Marvin Candle, aka
Our own Celina Beach has been on the scene at Comic-Con all weekend, and we expect her reports to start trickling in sometime today or tomorrow. Hopefully, she has a chance today to take the Dharma test — she’s on a waiting list — and can tell us about her experiences. That Bluetooth reference we hinted at earlier? Well, there’s a video floating around showing what happened when someone enabled their device within proximity of the Dharma area. As for the next stage of the game, we’re optimistic about new content tomorrow, so watch those web sites!
It should be no surprise to anyone who has been following the show LOST that there would be something special during the season finale. Fans were not disappointed. Close to the end of the episode, a mysterious commercial branded with “Paid for by ABC” aired, advertising a recruiting event for a company called Octagon Global Recruiting. They are looking for A LOT of “volunteers to assist in a range of unpaid positions” – a scrolling list displays diverse opportunities and skills ranging from Physicists, Mathematicians, and Botanical Researchers, to Drivers, Janitors, and Ex-Military. This recruiting event will be taking place in San Diego, July 24-27… wait, what’s that, you say? Those dates seem familiar? They should – they’re the same dates as the San Diego Comic Con.
The website for Octagon Global Recruiting doesn’t currently display much other than a streaming version of the aforementioned commercial. However, there is one other nugget of information to be found, tying Octagon Global to the Dharma Initiative. The two organizations are collaborating and recruiting volunteers willing to “contribute to an important new research project.” Interested? Just enter your email to register. So far, no reports have surfaced regarding contact from Octagon, but stay tuned.
Discussion has already started at Unfiction andThe Fuselage
ABC’s hit TV series Lost has captured the imagination of its viewing audience since its phenomenal pilot episode. There are at least 8 different official and fan-created websites (one of which we reported on before the summer) to explore for more clues and fan-fiction about the Lost universe.
Warning: this article may contain spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 of ABC’s Lost.