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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Is Lost Like An Interactive Game?

The Seattle Times thinks it might be:

"Lost" is the first television program that owes its soul to video games. Remember the feeling you got the first time you tried a treasure hunt? For fans willing to "game" the show, it's the same thrill.

Unlike traditionally passive television shows, which expect viewers to zone out in a couch-potato haze, "Lost," which returns with new episodes Wednesday night, has embedded clues throughout. It's these recurring tidbits — and the patterns they form — that make "Lost" the first show to resemble a video game

-- Fans play TV series "Lost" like an interactive video game

Interesting, and there's definately some evidence to support the claim. I've read elsewhere about how Lost owes some success to it's internal acknowledgement of DVRs and other modern TV watching equipment, allowing fans to study each episode frame by frame. It's probably no accident that this show was among the first available on iTunes as well.

Some of the ARGish aspects of the show have been lackluster however. It's nice to poke around for clues, sure, but it lacks the meat of a normal ARG. Lost doesn't feel like a revolution to me, but more of a sign of things that might come down the pipe in the future.

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Brinstar said...

I like puzzling over the clues in the series, but I'm not so hardcore that I'll participate in Lost forums to get to the bottom of things. Not that nerdy. :-P

Hooray. New eps tomorrow! I am not sure that I'm completely up to speed on the current events, because I recall missing a few episodes in November/December, so I need to look around for detailed episode synopses.

Josh said...

I think tomorrow's epi is a bit of rehash of the past two seasons:

So you might be in luck :)

Crystaltips said...

I'm just struggling to catch up = half way thru half of Season One on DVD.

No signs of any embedded games yet though, but it is getting interesting. Apparently two of the Lost writers are ex game writers...

Josh said...

I don't think they've necesssarily embedded a game, but they've layered the show in a way we've grown used to with interactive games. Some things might rise to the level of riddles, some are just hints. Like in last night's episode, there was a moment I was certain probably had some hidden clues but we were watching late and I didn't really feel like annoying the Girl with a repeated slow/pause of the TV.

But sure enough, this morning, there are screen caps galore of the images in question. Kinda like looking for those odd pixels or glinter in King's Quest.

I didn't know the Lost writers had game experience though. Maybe we'll see a boss fight down the way...