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Saturday, May 16, 2009

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."
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."
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.

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:
If you have any further information about this ARG, please free to leave a comment on this blog post.

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Blogger Dan Notov said...

For a while, a DM to @epithetalpha with the phrase "know thyself" resulted in a DM with the statement, "Are you a canditate? Await further instructions May 18."

Some time later, a tweet appeared with the phrase "Candidate applications full. Await review."

Still no confirmation this is official or not.

Saturday, May 16, 2009 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa-Maladylis said...

I hope more is found out about a AGR at Comic-con. Some people are saying that it was said in a ABC podcast that there will be no ARG this year but since I don't listen to them much, I don't know.

Monday, May 18, 2009 4:56:00 AM  
Blogger Sergio said...

Well, by using the code QW5kIFdpdGggVGhpcyBGaXJlIEkgUHVyaWZ5, which can be found in @epithetalpha, I got to a blog called magicpath.blogspot.com. Also, I visited the webpage called 27project.org, hinted by Simeon.
I'm trying to find out the connection between these webpages. So far I haven't found anything.
Any help?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 7:37:00 AM  
Blogger Josh Long said...

Supposedly these pages are connected to the game as well:
http://twitter.com/elliottgraves and

I haven't really had much chance to keep up with it, though.

There still hasn't been any convincing evidence that the game is official.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 7:53:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yeah... I kind of lost track of it all due to work and not being able to stay up all night... At this point, its almost so confusing, its convincing me that it is both "unofficial" and not very much fun anymore. :( But it was really fun at the beginning and thanks for the mention.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 7:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ARG is definitely fan-made but we're still playing! Check http://lostarg.wordpress.com/ for all the news

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:08:00 PM  

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