When I used to be 11, I bear in mind seeing a bizarre industrial on tv. During the industrial break of a Slamball rerun (bear in mind Slamball?) on Cartoon Network, I noticed an AIDS consciousness advert. It was made particularly for youths, and it was accompanied by an annoying rap. I distinctly bear in mind the refrain: “What do you know about AIDS?!” It’s been caught in my head for years. I suppose you’re anticipating me to hyperlink the industrial I’m describing, proper? Well, I can’t, as a result of I’ve by no means discovered it. I’ve by no means even seen it talked about on-line. This industrial is what’s often known as “lost media.”
Online, there’s a lost media group devoted to preserving every little thing from unaired tv pilots to unreleased online game prototypes. Currently, the lost media group exists on each YouTube and the Lost Media wiki, an archive of hundreds of lost media matters. LSuperSonicQ is a well known member of the lost media group and has many movies overlaying lost media matters corresponding to the Johnny Bravo pilot and unreleased My Chemical Romance songs. His fascination with lost media began on YouTube.
“I knew nothing about lost media at all until I watched a video from this other kind of lost media YouTuber,” mentioned LSuperSonicQ. “His name is blameitonjorge. And this is like, back in 2015… It was like, top 40 lost or banned episodes of kids TV shows.” LSuperSonicQ watched the video, and from that time on, he mentioned, he was “hooked.”
Lost media searches can take a very long time, relying on what’s being wanted and whether or not there are any issues, corresponding to nondisclosure agreements, folks leaving jobs, or creators simply not remembering previous tasks. LSuperSonicQ took months to find the lost pilot for the TV present Kappa Mikey, which aired on Nicktoons Network in the mid-2000s. This lost pilot was made so as to pitch the present to MTV. LSuperSonicQ was in a position to contact the creator of the present and persuade him to add that unique pilot to YouTube. He now considers this his favourite piece of lost media. Plus, the search was an excellent studying expertise for him.
“That was a really, really big deal, when that happened,” mentioned LSuperSonicQ. “It was my longest-lasting media search at the time, and I learned a lot of techniques in that search that I have applied to future searches and how I go about contacting people and trying to find stuff. So it was a really, really big turning point in my own personal lost media journey.”
Not all searches finish in success, however they’ll nonetheless be entertaining, since lost media is all about the search and why the media turned lost in the first place. YouTuber Bobdunga not too long ago dove into the world of lost media in her hunt for the Mean Girls online game, chronicling her search in a two-part Youtube documentary. The Mean Girls recreation was at all times seen as a thriller by the lost media group, however most didn’t appear too all in favour of fixing it. “I feel that a lot of that had to do with the fact that the game was inherently deemed as shovelware right off the bat,” mentioned Bobdunga. The 2000s featured many licensed video games that have been created simply to money in on the reputation of an upcoming movie launch. “This was especially common for ‘girl games,’” mentioned Bobdunga. “I think a lot of people behind the scenes didn’t have that good of a grasp at what girls liked in gaming.”
For her, Mean Girls was extra than simply one other “girl game.” “What really drew me to wanting to dive into Mean Girls was mainly because it was such a hot-button lost media topic that was surrounded by so much confusion and misinformation,” she mentioned. “I think it was my want to dissect all of it, even if I didn’t come out finding the actual game, that really drew me into the project.”
She informed me this was her first time creating YouTube content material about lost media, however not her first expertise with it. “I’ve always been very partial to both true crime and lost media videos,” she mentioned. “They seem to fit together really well, because they both share an ominous, almost storytelling-like atmosphere. And a lot of the time, the narrator will have a really calm or even creepy voice to further immerse the viewer. There’s something inherently spooky about lost media, especially in a digital age where we feel we can find everything.”
After months of looking, she finally discovered it. An nameless supply despatched her the recreation’s ROM file after viewing the first a part of her documentary. Since then, she has not too long ago uploaded footage of the recreation to her YouTube channel.
Enthusiasts see lost media as a manner to protect historical past, even when it’s one thing as obscure as a canceled online game or lost TV pilot. “Not everything has such a strong digital footprint, and it’s important to preserve all types of media, whether it be physical or digital,” mentioned Bobdunga. “It isn’t only a nostalgic memory for some but the media in question could also act as a small glimpse into what the world was like when it was produced.”
LSuperSonicQ took an identical stance. “It has to do with pop culture. It has to do with, you know, what people were interested in at the time it was made. And there’s lost media that goes all the way back to the 1920s. They’re silent films that are lost for people to look for. And it goes all the way up to the 2010s and 2020s. By being able to preserve and archive and document that kind of thing, I really think, in a way, it really helps the historical aspect of our culture and where we came from.”
Without the work of the lost media group, these elements of our tradition and historical past could be lost to time. In the digital age, it has turn out to be more durable for media to get lost, since virtually every little thing is on-line, however it’s nonetheless a risk. If corporations don’t do their half by making their older media simply obtainable, then it’s up to the followers to do their half and protect historical past.