“Lost” promises answers to questions in online game

On May 2, 2006, ABC started The Lost Experience, a interactive online mystery game with clues and elements that tie into their hit serial character drama, Lost. In the first part of the Experience, participants spent weeks looking over the website for the mysterious Hanso Foundation. (Click here for our explanation on what Hanso is.) In the second act, currently taking place, gamers are following the exploits of one Rachel Blake as she tries to expose the Hanso Foundation for “what they really are.”

And part of that, according to ABC, includes spilling some of the secrets about the minor mysteries on the television series. The network recently announced that it plans to reveal what “the numbers” mean. The numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 have been an important part of the series since the first season. One castaway, Hurley, won the lottery playing by those numbers. Another person crashed on the island after hearing those numbers being transmitted over the radio on a loop. And a mysterious computer found in the second season had to have the exact same numbers punched into it every 108 minutes. The revelation will come in the game’s third and final act, which will start before Lost returns to the airwaves with a miniseries in October.

But the numbers revelation isn’t the only thing that the game is shedding light on. In the first season of the hit series, the castaways found a old slave ship that had washed up a few miles inland, called The Black Rock. In the online game, Rachel Blake claims to have dug up information that Alvar Hanso’s grandfather, Magnus Hanso, was the captain of the ship. The Hanso Foundation is also thought to have a interest in shipping lanes. (Alvar Hanso is the founder of the Hanso Foundation, but mysteriously disappeared at the beginning of the game.)

The online game has also revealed what the Hanso Foundation’s DHARMA Initiative stands for: The Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications.

Rachel Blake’s investigations indicate that the Hanso Foundation, which bills itself as a philanthropist scientific organization, has actually been influencing world events, starting wars, and even using hospitals as a cover to harvest human body parts. She claims that the Hanso Foundation has been using institutionalized autistic savants as human computers to run another mysterious branch, the Valenzetti Equation. The Valenzetti Equation is apparently an apocalyptic math equation, which may contain “the numbers” in it. So while the Hanso Foundation makes itself look like a great organization, the hidden truth reveals a much darker, more sinister organization at work.

And what of Rachel Blake herself? Who is she? She was first introduced into the game as Persephone, a hacker who hid clues throughout the Hanso Foundation’s website towards other sites which contained information about what the foundation was really doing. After the Hanso Foundation shut down it’s website, Rachel Blake revealed herself and started a blog detailing her anti-Hanso efforts. Rachel says that she’s following the Hanso Foundation because she sees the “MASSIVE THREAT AND DANGER these guys are to us all”. She says that it’s “not a choice anymore whether to fight or not.” She has left many videoblogs all across the internet with more clues and interviews as to what the Hanso Foundation is currently doing.

Rachel Blake even showed up recently at Comic-Con 2006 to grill the creators of Lost about the Hanso Foundation. Bemused, the creators assured her that the Hanso Foundation wasn’t real. Oh, but Rachel knows that it is real. And that it’s not good for any of us. (You can watch the video here.)

(Rachel Blake, of course, isn’t real. She’s played by the actress Jamie Silberhartz.)

When the third act kicks into gear, we’ll keep you apprised of any updates. In the meantime, if you feel like keeping up with the Lost Experience yourself, here are some helpful sites:
Rachel Blake’s blog
Rachel Blake’s FAQ
ABC’s Inside the Experience
Wikipedia’s entry on the Lost Experience
The Lost Experience Clues

(Full article written by Charles Jurries.)


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