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LOST: Losing the ARG-ument

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Dharma Wants You
  Comments: 33

whenever.jpgWell it is now day… ah screw it.  Who really cares how many days it has been since the false start of the new ARG?  Due to lax security, we already know there is going to be some lame stall-mail circulated tomorrow.  Maybe there will be something hidden in the source code, but then again… maybe not.  Let’s face it, the start of the ARG was plagued with problems.  The servers couldn’t handle the load.  Countless potential players weren’t able to sign up.   In my opinion though, it isn’t the technical glitches that are so condemning a statement about the inability of the ARG to get lift off… oh hell now… there is something much worse to be said about all of this.

Consider this:  LOST, according to most of us in the LOST fan-verse, is the best show on television.  The best acting.  The best writing.  The best everything.  A production oozing with competency and creativity.  Now, however, that competency and creativity is in the hands of those developers behind the ARG.  So I ask you, what would Darlton do?

Darlton would surely say: “Oh sh*t.  We have dead air.  Can’t have dead air.  QUICK!  Think something up.”  That’s right.  If Darlton and crew were ARG programmers, they’d improvise.  Come up with their own tangential diversion in hopes that we wouldn’t even notice that there was a problem.   Because that is what creative genius does.  It covers it’s own tracks.

Instead, we get dead air.

The problem here is that right now, the ARG does represent LOST for many of us, and it does symbolize the competency and creativity of the show.  As the fan base goes from sarcastic to downright caustic, so the swell of LOST hatred builds.  Lindelof calls the fan scene ‘Toxic’ for a reason.  We are an unforgiving bunch.

With the second week quickly approaching, the question isn’t so much ‘when will it get fixed’ anymore… but “Why?”  Why hasn’t the game been fixed.  Why haven’t the developers behind it at least shown some quick thinking to fill the dead air with something that would interest us?  Why is the assumption – apparently – that we don’t even need an explanation, let alone acknowledgment?

With the accomplished history of LOST, and the sensitivity the creators have shown to the ebb and flow of the fan-scene, it’s a strange feeling to think that no-one is acting on these signals of impatience with a witty and creative segue to get us through until things are fixed.  I’m just saying…

  • TheDannyWarrior

    The fact that I had to make a .com email just to regester peeded me off. Its possible to underestamated the amount of people wanting to play, but Jesus, this ARG has just been BS at the moment. Still, at least we will be getting a update. At last. =/

  • Chris

    I’m sorry but this sounds like a lot of whining. Nothing was ever promised to show up every week, no press release said the ARG started right at Comic-Con and there would be regular updates. Hold your horses and wait for the fun to begin. It’s a free diversion for LOST fans and I think your expectations are way too high.

  • maven

    I hear ya Doc, but I agree with Chris to a degree. Nothing was promised but was inferred in that at Comic Con we were told that DWY was going to go live on the following Monday. One would think that things would progress from there instead of coming to a complete halt. I’m patient because I’m thankful for anything to keep the great LOST community together for the next 5 or 6 months, but I do think we’re owed some sort of tidbit for explanation for the delay.

  • justin

    I totally agree with Chris. There were no dates as to when stuff will start. I, as much as everyone here wanted this to start im sure the day after season 4 ended, but whining isnt going to make it come faster.

  • Apopheniac79

    I , like Chris above me, have been a Hoodlum apologist to many. “Take a breath, let it go. At least they are giving us something during the hiatus. All for free to boot.”
    But after reading this article my perspective is starting to shift. “…Instead, we get dead air… Why is the assumption – apparently – that we don’t even need an explanation, let alone acknowledgment?…it’s a strange feeling to think that no-one is acting on these signals of impatience with a witty and creative segue to get us through until things are fixed. I’m just saying…
    I’m just saying… I agree.

  • DocArzt

    Actually Chris, you are wrong. The game was to start the 28th, which it did. There have been numerous glitches since then, well documented, and the email we’ll get tomorrow is a stall tactic. But, you misread me…. My issue is that the way it is being handled is not up to the standards of LOST. My biggest fear is that this will be a two month story-line stretched over 5 months…

  • I completely agree with DocArzt. Two weeks with no update is poor in ARG terms, and I actually think the whole outline generally of staying on one website and doing some tests is quite tame.

  • Memphish

    I think you stated it well Doc. This is very different from any of the other 2 ARGs which kicked off with a bang. This one has whimpered to a dead halt. And I agree that it reflects badly on the franchise. It won’t make me love what Damon and Carlton give me less, but it makes me think what I’m going to get from Hoodlum is pretty valueless.

    On the flip side, I’m not sure I agree the email, if we get it, is a stall. I think it is fair for Dharma and ORG to be concerned about a security breach. But if this is supposed to be “reality” then they should have been concerned about it on July 26th/27th, not on August 8th.

    And the other thing I really don’t get so far is why haven’t we heard from Ruckus Guy? If he’s trying to reveal the truth he needs a way to reveal it. So far there’s no site for him to operate from.

  • DocArzt

    I’m wondering, Memphish, if we will even get that email…. as you state, it does seem to be more in line with what went on at CC. Weird timing… and please, to be clear… I didn’t mean to polarize people on my opinion… just stating what I feel…

  • I agree with Maven. However, I do wish they would at least let us have some kind of “heads up” about the delay before Friday. I did not care for the “spoon fed” approach, but I could tolerate it as just something to keep me interested in things. It was something-I’m thankful. Like Doc, I hate dead air. At least have enough respect for the fans to keep us “in the loop!”

  • Chris

    Who cares if its a two month story spread over five months. You are getting, for free, a two month story that otherwise you would have never received. It’s a bunch of sour grapes to say, well, we’re owed as a supporting community what we think we should get. Be thankful that you get anything at all. It makes people not want to spend their time working on things that aren’t appreciated. And plus, all you are doing is speculating. You have no inside information to know what kind of story is coming. So I say wait and see. And until then, I’ll stick to other sites that don’t whine about what they’re not getting.

  • gmoney

    i am going crazy in anticipation. so much in fact i just got this WEIRD email from a random person, and it was filled with ambiguities. my first instinct was that it had to do with lost, but now im just getting scared im being stalked.

  • DocArzt

    Wow Chris, if you’re that easily offended… you should avoid the internet completely. 😉 Not to further stoke your ‘flames’, but if you were actually reading what I wrote, I’m very clear that I’m speculating. How you get that I am claiming insider information, or even proposing my ‘fear’ of a hyper-extended as fact is a mystery worth of an ARG itself… 😉

  • Memphish

    Here’s the other problem with ARG delay — I’m tempted to read spoilers. Now I know a lot of people don’t consider casting a spoiler, but I’m a purist. And if I have no Dharma to want me, I just may look!

  • Chris

    I’m not offended by the internet, Doc. I think you’re being a smart-alick with your comments towards me. If its your opinion and mine, how can I be “wrong” as you have stated? You just seem impatient the way you have written the piece on Hoodlum and this. You have no idea what is going on behind the scenes but are already attacking their project. Lay off a little. And that’s my opinion.

  • DocArzt

    You were wrong that there was not a start date, is all. The rest, as you state, is your opinion. The start date was given by ABC on numerous occasions. Definitely, I apologize if you feel it is a personal attack. As I said a few posts back, I’m not trying to polarize anybody based on my personal opinion. I do think you’re getting too emotional about my opinion… hopefully once the game starts it will kick ass and we’ll be back in LOST bliss.

  • noblelawyer

    This is how they are going to make the ARG last for 7 mths. until the begining of the next LOST season…..just piddle out the game one or two things a month.

  • Lostinmemphis

    Doc you are right on. Hoodlum has an obligation not to make promises it cannot deliver, and while no specific time line was ever mentioned it is reasonable to assume that once the game starts that it will more along at a reasonable pace. Two weeks between any sort of movement is not reasonable by anyones standards IMHO.
    Chris I do understand your point of view and respect it. You just may have more patience than I do. One point I do want to make is this game is far from free. We the viewer/participant is not asked to pay, but you better believe that ABC and it’s sponsors are paying quite a bit for this ARG in order to help hold the fan base together until the February 09 Season premier. There is little doubt that this delay will transfer into some potential players giving up on the ARG and possibly not hanging in for the premier in February. This will translate into losses for both ABC and their sponsors. Is that significant? I don’t know if it will be or not, but any losses for bad performance is inexcusable in the entertainment industry.

  • DocArzt

    To Chris’s point, the ARG is nothing but a love letter to the fans, and we can take it or leave it. The other aspect, which is my concern, is whether we like our free diversion or not, if it is done sloppily there will be backlash against the show. As much as the LOST folks have tried to insulate the show from the ARGs, you can’t do it. If they said Season 5 of LOST was premiering January first, only played the opening credits, and didn’t schedule any subsequent episodes, people would be furious. In this case, we’ve been promised a game that explores a bit of the mythology of the show, we’ve been given the opening credits, then nothing. I see nothing wrong with being patient, or mad…

  • lostfanboy16

    I never expected the arg to be on par with the show. To me It’s just a fun little thing to do while we wait. I don’t care how low it takes.

  • Mark

    Seriously, this original post could not be by THE DocArtz, ’cause he would expect delays and scheduling f-ups. Any longtime fan would. That’s what they do. Love the show, but wouldn’t expect any different.

  • oneiros1984

    has anyone else noticed that the page no longer works? or is that just me? all i’m getting is the blue screen..

  • ARGs do, as you say Doc, set a standard to the show in a way. I have high hopes for this latest ARG, as I think nobody could argue that TLE was fantastic. Find 815 left a lot to be desired (I think primarily cause the Lost writers were not involved in it), so I hope this new game with their backing will also succeed. As sponsorship for a Lost ARG is still such an issue, of course I appreciate that it won’t be on the same scale as TLE, but right now I’m still expecting much more… and a 2 week gap in any ARG is not very good – no matter how much you wish to defend Hoodlum, most ARGs I’ve ever heard of run continuously, and normally a weekend 2-day stop is about the most you’ll see between clues.

    I don’t think its unfair of Doc to point out the dead air we’re seeing, and while yes we should appreciate what Hoodlum are doing for us and all that, that’s like saying you can’t complain about a bad episode of Lost and should just appreciate that you HAVE an episode of Lost – you’re missing the point!

  • Mark

    I have to say I see this as whiny. Yeah it’s going slow, but let’s get some perspective here…….it’s an ARG. Relax.

  • Sean

    I can understand the frustration in the waiting for the ARG to get off and running. It makes sense, but I’ve seen ARG’s with larger problems than this in the past, where nothing happens for months. I’m willing to wait it out a little bit.

    The reason I write is because this one of the highest quality Lost sites on the internet, a site I visit frequently. And like I said, while I understand the frustration in not getting anything, the tone of the post just seems to have a vibe of “Why bother if I’m not getting constant updates?” I mean, we don’t know how it’s all going to end up. So the start date was the 28th, but can we unequivocally know what the schedule is? I just think it’s best to wait it out and let’s be optimistic about the entire process instead of throwing out complaints.

    And smile. This is new stuff about Lost. It’s better to have a little bit of something in these next 5-6 months than nothing at all.

  • Josh

    Doc, sorry for being off topic here, but I was just wondering: Do you have any way to get those unseen Cast Promotional photos from ABC Medianet? They would be perfect for autograph requests IMO. And I’m planning on sending a bunch out soon.


  • Sara

    Something on the site has been changed. When You log in and put the cursor on, or just sit and wait, the octagon surrounding Volunteer Assessment Commencing Soon starts flashing, jumbled letters flash through and sometimes possible words in a different language….Somethings going on even if it’s small.

  • mike
  • Dolce

    Sara- Ijust saw that too. It happens about 15 seconds after you log in. Don’t know what it is…

  • Pop Zeus

    Jeez, it’s a great TV show…but it’s still just a TV show.

    Go do something else for a few months.

    To paraphrase the immor(t)al Shatner: “LOSTIES — GET A LIFE!”

  • Jon

    I agree with Mark and Chris.

    Having not played any of the previous ARG’s, I’m a lot more patient because I have no frame of reference to compare it too.

    If this was happening with the show then sure, I would be pissed off. But it’s just an ARG; simply a mild diversion to keep us Lost addicts busy until season 5 starts. Chill!

  • Josh

    Thanks Mike, but those weren’t the ones I meant. There are a bunch of other ones of each cast member. Like at least 5 new images per character. Unfortunately Dark doesn’t have ABC access – posted them so that’s where the person who sent them to him got them.

    Sorry about the Off Topic.

  • Desmundo

    Hey Chris I dont think youre going to get a job on LOST so you can quit being an emotional brown-noser. We get it, you love LOST, its your best friend. Doc is right though, shotty work is shotty work. We should be able to admit it and not get all upset. If you dont like what is said, easy fix, go somewhere else. People are entitled to their opinions just like you but you get upset at Doc and company but its his site. These people make millions doing their jobs, they dont need your pitty. I’m not owed anything but they were paid to do a job, bloody do it. BTW I and lots of other people have spent hundreds on LOST stuff so maybe this is free but non of the DVDs or shirts or other collector stuff was.