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- Nickb123 is responsible for this interview.
The Lost Ninja was a Australian blogger during The Lost Experience, responsible for helping hide clues and also direct fans along the way. This interview was conducted by email; the questions were submitted by members of the wiki and the Lostpedia forums. The interview was posted on November 30, 2008.
Lostpedia: A lot of people have asked about the name - you've probably stated this before, but why did you choose the "Lost Ninja"?
Well, I’ve been known to be something of a forum lurker, and I’m slightly obsessed with ninjas… it was a toss up between The Lost Ninja and The Lost Zombie, and I opted to go with the less dead option.
Lostpedia: How did you first get involved in The Lost Experience, and did you volunteer to be the Australian blogger for the game?
I was already running the Official Lost site here in Australia for Yahoo when the offer came through from ABC. I was asked if I wanted to be involved but that my role would be quite extensive, as I was heading up not only the Ninja blog but Australia’s involvement as a whole.
Lostpedia: How clued up were you on the game's clues and storyline? Speaker admitted he only had SOME insider knowledge and was occasionally given clues to hide, but didn't know the full ins and outs - is this true for you too?
Due to the fact that I was involved in the actual planning and management of the Experience, I was pretty clued in to most steps of the way. I didn’t know the minute detail of every part, but I had a good idea of what would be happening each day. And yes, I knew plenty more than Speaker, a fact which continues to this day.
Lostpedia: How much did you communicate with your blogger counterparts and the writing / production teams behind the game? Were there any challenges you had to overcome during the course of the project with regards to spoilers, hiding clues, or saying things on your blog you shouldn't?
Quite a fair bit, actually. I spoke with Speaker every single day for five months, constantly comparing notes and discussing the next step. I spoke with the production team in conference calls probably twice a week for just as long, though these were normally around 1 or 2am thanks to the time difference! I’d been warned well in advance of what I could and couldn’t talk about (surprisingly little) so thankfully there weren’t too many problems.
Lostpedia: We heard from UK insiders that you personally worked particularly hard hiding glyph clues in the "real-world" for fans to find - how true is this, and what motivated you to do it?
Very true! Aussies love to go outside, and we adore a good scavenger hunt. A bunch of fans had already track down the location for our Bad Twin giveaway, arranged as the book hadn’t been released in Australia at the time, so I felt that another round of outdoor adventuring was in order. The US and UK sites were coming up with great ways to hide their glyphs, so it was decided that having them been in the real world would be our unique angle, one I felt worked out rather well. In fact, if you plot the five glyph real world locations on a map and draw lines linking to one another, the Bad Twin drop location is the perfect epicentre!
Lostpedia:You were the mastermind behind the Australian Apollo bar distribution, managing to source them for fans. Is it true that Australian fans would not have obtained any bars if not for your efforts? How many did you actually get hold of?
Australia is a massive country, yet people live in approximately 10% of the country. Whereas the US was having a super-cool promotion involving vans at fairs and so on, this simply wouldn’t be possible here. It looked like the Apollos wouldn’t make it out here until I was able to line up six comic book stores in major cities who were willing to distribute them, free of charge. All Losties had to do was walk into the store, say “Smells like carrots” and they scored themselves an Apollo. Due to the fact that many players wouldn’t be able to get to one of these locations, I took it upon myself to do the biggest chocolate mail-out in history, and ended up mailing individual bars myself to almost 500 people! I ended up with 5,000 bars all up, and I don’t really ever want to see dark chocolate again, let alone eat it.
Lostpedia: What was your favorite moment as part of The Lost Experience and why?
This is a really, really difficult choice to make, as I’ve got so many fond memories, but I guess that absolute highlight would be the live DJ Dan show. By that time, the Experience had been rolling along for a while and everyone knew each other pretty well, so a big party for IM was organised through the blogs. We had so many people online at the same time, IM kept crashing! The guys in the LA studio were having such a blast recording the show that the energy transferred over to us, and the IM party keep going well into the morn with Speaker and I taking turns at Djing.
Lostpedia: Do you wish you could have had a more active role in the storyline itself, being a fully-fledged character as part of Rachel Blake's adventures?
I sure do. I like to think of the Ninja as Claire’s ex-boyfriend Thomas, therefore making me Aaron’s biological father, or “Baby daddy” as they say in the courts.
Lostpedia: You and Speaker seemed to form quite a close friendship as a result of TLE, though after a lot of rivalry at first. Was it all in good fun, and how did the two of you get such good friends despite the real-world distance? Do you have anything to say on Speaker's claims that you and he had a love child at Comic-Con?
Speaker and I did form a very strong friendship, based initially on the fact that we were the only ones who could understand what the other was going through – we were in a weird, nebulous pod linking TPTB with the community. The rivalry was only ever for laughs, as we both know I’m a good deal more rad than he. Seriously though, Speaker is a top bloke and a fellow dedicated nerd. As soon as we learned we had a mutual love for comics, conventions and messing around online, our friendship went from strength to strength. Finally, let’s get this straight – he had the baby, not I.
Lostpedia:How would you describe Australian Lost fans compared to others (e.g. Americans, Brits)? Are there any similarities and differences in your opinion?
In general, I’d say they’re all quite similar, just in different time zones. I will, however, mention the fact that an Aussie uber-nerd here is on the next level – seeing as we’re usually behind on everything, Aussie nerds are generally pretty clued in when it comes to using the internet to stay relevant to the world.
Lostpedia: In "The Shape of Things to Come", Hurley says "Australia's the key to the whole game". Do you think this is true (when it comes to Lost)?
Ridiculously true. I think, when it is all said and done, Australia will hold all the answers we seek. Why? Three reasons. 1 – Every beginning has an end, so if it all started here, we have to go back. 2 – Hurley is never, ever wrong, about anything, period. 3 – We’re a nation of super-charged soldiers of awesome, and if any nation can save the planet from the perils of an electromagnetically displaced, Kasamir effected island, it is us.
Lostpedia: Would you ever wish to reprise your role as the Lost Ninja if given the opportunity as part of a Lost project? Have you been following the new Lost ARG(s), and if so how do you rate them?
I sure would! I followed Find815 very closely and was involved behind the scenes to a small degree, and I’m just starting to get into the latest one now. Each of them have been very different experiences so it is difficult to compare them, but I felt 815 worked really well in terms of getting everyone pumped for season four and I’m hoping the new one will do the same.