Some stories are just too massive — or too messy — to be confined to one medium.
As TV caters more and more to the wonks who sit around wondering how many Hurleys can dance on the head of a pin, games — for consoles and the Internet — are picking up the slack.
The producers of Lost, for example, are, according to Web chatter, reportedly planning to launch a sprawling mythological scavenger hunt called The Lost Experience live on the Internet this summer. It sounds like the famous Jeanine Salla alternate-reality game from A.I.
TV viewers of old were perhaps too passive for this sort of deep-digapproach to a fictional subject. But as viewership becomes dominated bygamers and geeks, the appetite for myth-sprawl and narrativecryptography grows daily. Thus, it was only a matter of time before an alternate-reality game arose. (ProducerJ.J. Abrams has been here before: The Rambaldi games online were anAlias fan’s dream, or so I’m told.)
But here’s the marketing genius behind this game: The producers’ podcast saysthere’ll be clues IN THE COMMERCIALS. When? Sometime during May sweeps.That’s just vague enough to put the brakes on your TiVos, people.Fiendishly brilliant! Now MILLIONS will not only watch every Palmoliveand Castrol spot, they’ll COMB them for clues. Then wake up in themiddle of the night with an inexplicable craving for Castrol.
In other TV videogame news:
Battlestar Galactica delivered a tie-in game back in 2003 — a deep but straightforward space-battle sim featuring a young Adama, piloting his Viper durng the original Cylon wars. But now it’s sounding like producer Ronald Moore has even bigger designs on the videogame realm. Noting the popularity of Battlestar on iTunes, he’s talking about games for handheld mobile devices as well as consoles. He also says there’s never been a truly successful TV-to-videogame crossover.
Never say never, Ronald. I hear The Two and a Half MenExperience is launching any day now. (Friends, I cannot be responsiblefor what you find if you actually Google “the two and a half menexperience.”)