Dharma Wants You! Yes, you–over there, with the hidden video camera.

LostFor those that may have missed out, there seems to be a new game for the LOST television show! Those that saw the season finale may remember the commercial for Octagon Global Recruiting. This hinted at something-or-other happening at Comicon. If you signed up to be on the mailing list, one of the emails you received had some HTML comments hidden in the source code. These are from someone using the name RuckusGuy. He details what to expect at the Comicon booth: recruitment drive, sign up for a timeslot, go into the booth for a personality/IQ test. He mentions a guy on the inside of Dharma who has rigged up a little something on Bluetooth. The little something turned out to be a video. It is effectively the same video playing on screens outside the booth, but with not-so-subliminal messages.

At Comicon, things went as described: people took recruitment tests at the Dharma booth–with some questions reminiscent of Blade Runner. The report from Thursday of the podcast The Transmission had a good man-in-the-street type of review. And while we’re linking to The Transmission, any good Lost fan may want to listen to The Visionaries Panel. It’s not directly related to this particular game, but is a great little Q&A session with the guys from Lost, Chuck, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Pushing Daisies.

The actual Lost panel was on Saturday. Once again, I point you to The Transmission who has a good audio recording of the panel. This starts out with the usual introductions. They guys then talk about sponsorship. These days, people use all sorts of methods of advertising and sponsorship. You get product placement, lower-third ads, and that sort of thing. And in an example of “life imitating art” as they explained, Dharma has sponsored the panel. As such, they had requested a few minutes of everyone’s time. Mr. Hans Van Eeghen takes the stage and talks about the recruitment results. You really need to listen to the audio or watch the video for this. “We came here looking for the best and the brightest… but instead, we get you.” All of the personality testing was recorded, and he brings up a best-of (or would that be worst-of?) clip reel of people’s answers. At the end of his few minutes of time, he optimistically states that he found 10 recruits who passed and calls them up on stage. He also says that they are still looking for more people and that everyone should check out DharmaWantsYou.com on Monday (Yesterday.) One by one, the people he names make it to the stage. They then go off, as he explains, to the Dharma booth for further instruction and information and the stage is given back to the Lost guys.

You then get the Q&A session that goes on for the rest of their time–EXCEPT about 5 minutes before the end, there’s an interruption. Dan Bronsen, one of the recruits called up on stage to go to the Dharma booth at the beginning of the talks, rushes in. He is out of breath and yelling about a video and about exposing the truth. He eventually gets his video played on the big screen and it’s a sort of unsteady-cam of him being brought through the Comicon floor to the Dharma booth, then being sat down to watch a video. He records the video, but at the end is caught with the camera and makes a dash for it. He runs out of the booth, escaping capture, and across the Comicon floor, and then the video cuts out.

Without spoiling too much, it’s best you just watch the video for yourself. Like last year’s Comicon video, it is from Dr. Marvin Candle. No bunnies this time, though.

And now you’re caught up. DharmaWantsYou is up and running. You can take a personality test, sign up, and log in. There is mention of weekly assessment tests, a leader board, but not much to do currently–just sign up. The leaderboard thing has me a bit worried. I just hope it ends up being a collaborative game and not a competitive one, as the former tends to build communities and the latter tends to splinter them.

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