** Editor’s Note: The original publication of this article had an incorrect hyperlink to The Hanso Foundation web site. The link has been corrected and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
It’s been a little over a week since the launch of The Lost Experience, a launch in the form of prominent television advertisements for The Hanso Foundation. Since the first commercial spot reached television sets across the globe, the trailhead site has undergone a few plot-advancing changes, and two new sites (Gary Troup’s site and subLYMONal) have been connected to the game. As well, an official insider’s blog has popped up on the ABC Television web space. So far, the game has performed well, and updates to the Hanso site give players the sense that the game is something they should be watching every day. This is one Alternate Reality Game a lot of people have been waiting for, and it has opened the door to ARGs for an entirely new audience.
The game has become very popular in a relatively short amount of time, mostly because of the exposure it has been given. However, finding the site and calling the Hanso company hotline are only the first steps into the game, and so the game designers have had to focus on how to keep the player base interested enough to keep coming back. Their answer? Make the Experience easily accessible, but with enough content to satisfy even the most voracious fan. So far, so good — the sites are fairly easy to digest but offer underlying layers of complex material giving the die-hard fanatics material to theorize about. By feeding the plot elements to the masses bit by bit, the information is hardly overwhelming, even to the casual watcher. In the end, regardless of a player’s commitment level, the game delivers a rich, interwoven back-story that is starting to answer some of the questions about the show.