ARG(hhh!) Again, Naturally

Here we go again.

Back in November I wrote a post that detailed my small brush with infamy related to DarmaWantsYou.com.  This week saw the stars align for another 15 minutes of fame that felt worthy of revisiting.  The rough timeline:

February 29, 2008
Timely Persuasion is released.  The book includes 2 hidden easter eggs into a mini-ARG.  These go undiscovered for quite some time.

July 30, 2008
Kick-off of the official DharmaWantsYou ARG in between seasons 4 and 5 of Lost.  I accidentally typo the site when trying to visit it and get a page not found, which inspires me to register it myself as a good samaritan.  The intent was always this: “Hey, wrong site.  Here’s the real one, plus a shameless plug on something that might be of mutual interest.” This sets the series of events detailed in this post into motion.

May 1, 2009
Email from GoDaddy reminding me that DarmaWantsYou.com would be expiring in July.  I hadn’t touched the site since linking to my in-game Dharma questionnaire, which no longer existed since ABC took down the site of the original game.  With the content now somewhat pointless I decide I’ll most likely let the registration lapse in July.

May 16, 2009
With some time on my hands for the first time in ages, I check out my website stats and notice that DarmaWantsYou was still getting 30-50 hits per day even without a “real” site to point people back to.    With a little bit of traffic and a couple of months before expiration I thought it made sense to do a minor revision:

  • I changed the sub-header from “Has There Been An Incursion On This Site By The Hostiles?” to “What Lies In The Shadow Of The Statue?”
  • I killed the dead link to my time travel Dharma quiz from the defunct “real” game and replaced it with this:

Although Dharma is no more, there are other Initiatives…

study.LB-DG.com

The link points to the Timely Persuasion easter egg/mini-ARG that’s been up since the book’s launch in February of 2008.  My logic was that if people were looking for an ARG I might as well point them to something similar rather than leaving them with nothing.

Traffic to study.lb-dg.com went through the roof!

Traffic to study.lb-dg.com went through the roof!

May 18, 2009
Unbeknownst to me, a new Lost ARG called “Who Is Simeon Hobbes?” was on the verge of starting.  (Note:  This new ARG has since been revealed to be fan made and not canon.  Still pretty cool though.)  Someone discovers the LBDG study page with the password protected PDF and thinks it’s in-game despite the “I registered this page because of a typo” intro.  It hit Twitter, and things started to skyrocket from there.

So to be clear:

  • I’m not part of an official Lost ARG.
  • I’m not part of this fan-made WISH? ARG; nor did I intentionally try to hijack it.
  • There is a mini-ARG type thing embedded in Timely Persuasion, and the password protected PDF, the questions, and the word “Nelsonification” all tie back into the plot of the book.
  • The book is pretty good if I do say so myself 🙂

Props to user Jesus_Stick at the Lostpedia forums for figuring out the nod to John Titor in the LBDG logo, and to South for catching the Carter USM references in the questionnaire. Nice work!

PS: One last note, in regards to this at the LostARG blog:

PLEASE be especially aware of the lb-dg one, it asks you to send off a questionnaire with money.

The $1 I ask for at the bottom of the PDF isn’t a scam and isn’t intended as a money making scheme.  It’s actually there to discourage people from mailing the questionnaire back to the PO box, as I don’t really have a use for it.  But if someone does happen to send me a buck, they will get something of equal or greater value in return.

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