Simeon Hobbes & Epithet Alpha: Real LOST ARG or Hoax?
There's a lot of buzz today about a supposed new LOST alternate reality game (ARG) revolving around a couple of new Twitter accounts and an old YouTube account that just posted a video after being stagnant for three years. A lot of people are excited about it, but so far there's little evidence that this is an official LOST ARG.
Let's take a look at the chronology of events. Late Thursday night (depending on your time zone), one day after the Season 5 finale aired in the U.S. and Canada, a new Twitter account was created (@simeonhobbes), which has posted a lot of cryptic messages, many of which refer to someone named Jacob in a reverent manner as if speaking of a deity.
On Friday, May 15, a new video was posted on the YouTube page of a user named "thelostexperience". The video is titled "Who is Simeon Hobbes?" and is technically just a photograph with an audio track. The photograph is of a starry sky, and the audio has been identified as Morse code spelling out "I AM THE BENNU BIRD, THE HEART-SOUL OF RA, THE GUIDE OF THE GODS TO THE TUAT". According to Lostpedia, this video was later referenced by the @simeonhobbes account (the tweet said simply "KLbOw2XTWg8", which is the YouTube video's ID), but the tweet has since been deleted. Earlier today, Twitter user @DEBauslaugh deciphered a riddle posted by @simeonhobbes and determined that @epithetalpha is also part of the game, which @simeonhobbes confirmed.
But is this an official LOST ARG, or just a fan-made game? As of right now, there doesn't seem to be any solid evidence that it's official, and the evidence that exists seems to point to it being unofficial (that is, a non-canon, fan-created ARG). For one thing, the YouTube account and Twitter accounts only make reference to each other, and none of them seem to be referenced on any official ABC sites as far as I'm aware. There's no mention of anything related to the game at http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/ which is ABC's official LOST homepage. I asked fellow LOST blogger and podcaster DocArzt about it since he often has inside information about LOST (he also owns the domain thelostexperience.com, incidentally), and he agreed with my suspicions that it's not official. And as if that wasn't enough, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse gave a small hint on the most recent episode of The Official LOST Podcast (May 11th) that there may be a new ARG beginning at Comic-Con San Diego 2009 (July 23-26). This doesn't necessarily mean that an official ARG won't start before that, but they didn't give any hints about anything coming sooner. Here's what they said:
Carlton Cuse: "So this is it. This is the last time we're going to be chatting until Comic-Con, but we hope that you guys will come to Comic-Con as that will also be our final Comic-Con appearance."In spite of the evidence cited above, I sent a message to the YouTube video account holder asking for evidence that the game is authentic, and I haven't gotten a response yet. I also was followed back by @epithetalpha when I followed the account, so I sent the user a direct message asking the same thing. I'll be sure to tweet and blog about whatever response I get, if any. So far I've gotten no response.
Damon Lindelof: "Yes. We've got some treats in store, I think."
Carlton Cuse: "Yes. We are already talking about what we're doing for Comic-Con and it should be really fun."
Damon Lindelof: "That is very exciting."
Even if this ARG is fan-made, it may turn out to be fun if you're willing to invest your time in it. To keep up with the latest tidbits and watch the plot unfold, keep your eyes on these places:
- Twitter: @simeonhobbes and @epithetalpha
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/thelostexperience
- Lostpedia is also currently tracking the ARG at the article Simeon Hobbes
- If it turns out to be official, you can be sure that I'll tweet about it @theJoshMeister and blog and podcast about it as well (so please subscribe!)
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