- The Washington Times - Monday, March 8, 2010

Highlighting the best interactive features from the high definition format.

‘Lost’ on Campus

For those still lost while viewing the final season of ABC Studios’ pop-culture phenom “Lost,” the latest collection of episodes available on Blu-ray (Lost: Season 5, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, rated TV14, $79.99) delivers a definitive extra for determined students in the family.

Lost University, located on disc five, makes use of not only the broadband interactive magic of a BD-Live but also an accompanying, away-from-the-home-entertainment-screen Web site (www.lostuniversity.org) to virtually enroll in a variety of classes.

This isn’t some funky Flash-derived program built up with a couple of multiple-choice quizzes to endear fans to the show, but a robust and even surprisingly educational simulation designed around an online collegiate life.

After taking a placement exam and receiving registration numbers, students work on a 21-credit curriculum built around a two-semester year and a course catalog filled with themes tied to the “Lost” universe.

Take, for example, “Physics 101: Introductory Physics of Time Travel.” Certainly a current theme in the television show, it’s brought to life through a pair of video classes taught by real doctorate-loaded scholars, including theoretical physicist Clifford Johnson and black-hole expert Nick Warner.

Enroll in “Sci 201: Jungle Survival Basics” and quickly learn how to get water out of green bamboo.

Other classes involve disciplines such as philosophy, history (decipher hieroglyphics), foreign language (an introduction to 15 phrases in Korean and French, no less) and art (taught by “Lost” executive producer and artist Jack Bender).

Use the Web site to print out homework assignments or review course materials away from the Blu-ray, which acts as the campus for the studies.

Final exams even include practical applications of acquired knowledge, such as building a miniraft.

Other Lost University activities include forming study forum groups around the world, reading new e-mail, keeping track of your grade-point average, making the dean’s list and signing up for the Drive Shaft Cover Band Contest.

The entire experience is simple to use and clearly highlights the powers of the Blu-ray and its ability to become an interactive medium.

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