Subscription Addiction

Copy of Sunday Stats

Ages ago, I had a Lootcrate subscription. It was fun for a while, but it was also overloading my shelves with junk. Most of the themes were too broad for my interests and I wasn’t getting enough gaming items. Too much of the stuff ended up in the trash because I couldn’t deal with the clutter. I canceled, but they’ve evolved a lot in the last couple of years and have a bunch of more specifically tailored options now. Their sock crate is probably worth it! To be honest, if they did an underwear box for women, I’d totally get that.

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Typical LootCrate

When Lootcrate first came onto the scene, along with a handful of other subscription boxes, I remember thinking that this fad would never catch fire. In our digital era where minimalism is a lifestyle, magazines and mail subscriptions are virtually deceased, I just couldn’t fathom why people would want to amass STUFF on a monthly basis.

Then, in a Twitch stream on Dyscourse in 2015, I discovered Indiebox. Indiebox delivered collector’s edition PC games with amazing collectibles. I still enjoy the Axiom Verge soundtrack! It was an awesome way to discover new games and play new genres. I particularly appreciated the game download codes so my shelves didn’t fill up with jewel cases like the 90’s. Unfortunately, in September they shuttered the subscription service portion of their business model. RIP.

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My Favorite Indiebox

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My first Indiebox

Through the magic of instagram, I met Goddess Provisions where I’ve been a member for almost 2 years. Each month I get candles and aromatherapy oils, a bit of chocolate maybe or other tools to raise my vibration and connect more deeply with the universe.

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January’s awesome Goddess Provisions box

Now almost everyone I know maintains some kind of subscription. But how did this happen? How did something kind of silly and seemingly so off trend explode into a cultural phenomenon?

My theory is twofold:

We’ve forgotten the joy of surprise.
When information and answers are a tap away, the amusement and satisfaction of discovery has dissipated. New memes are old news as soon as they start trending. Through social media, everyone learns about major events at practically the same moment. If you don’t see the hottest new movie on opening night, there’s a massive chance someone is going to spoil it for you.

True, genuine surprise is rare anymore. Sometimes instagram spoils boxes for me!    We know everything before we know it and discovery has gotten boring. So, the arrival of a package packed with mystery goodies tailored to your interests brings back the thrill of surprise. It’s like finding a loot crate in real life! #GamesIRL

Getting physical mail is AWESOME.
Most of the good stuff comes to our email inboxes now, while our mailboxes are filled with disappointment- direct mail marketing pieces (still? REALLY?), local menus and credit card offers. A mission to the mailbox typically ends with a jaunt to garbage can.

Remember getting care packages in college? Or any kind of gift in the mail? It turns a trip to the mailbox into your own private holiday. It’s a parade in your honor. Subscription boxes are like a gift each month, and if you pay for several months in advance, it doesn’t even feel like spending money for the duration!

Glux introduced me to Cratejoy (and she talked about her subscription experiences here) where we both went a little wild on the options in January. I’ll review some of the new boxes I’ve subbed with in the coming weeks. Do you have any favorites?


How Nintendo Switch is Driving me Back to Physical Games

I’m a Taurus. As a lover of physical things, I like to surround myself with the material items that speak most to me and bring joy into my space- candles, jewelry, art, plants.

As a New Yorker, that space is already filled the moment I step into it. The items I keep need to be deeply meaningful and beautiful as well as fairly functional. Moving to digital downloads has helped me reduce clutter AND keep a larger library (read: daunting backlog).

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Hiding my games within a clear carrier from the old Club Nintendo days

And while I do still have a nice little collection of physical DS games for which I’ve found accessible-yet-invisible storage solutions, I actively seek out digital downloads to preserve my sacred space.

Nintendo Switch– and particularly indie game publishers- are changing that.

Artful packaging draws me in a variety of ways. The clear plastic shell for Switch games is much less visible and intrusive than the white 3DS and blue WiiU shells were. It’s a major upgrade toward keeping my space looking like it belongs to someone who is at least trying to look like a grown up.

There’s been a lot of debate about the size of the box relative to the size of the game, but in a loud retail environment, you need a canvas for enticing visuals. Nicalis has even released two editions for The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ each with covetable  covers.


via Nicalis

It seems instruction manuals started to phase out slowly.  Around the time Club Nintendo shuttered, I don’t remember seeing them anymore at all. I always loved thumbing through the manuals, reading character backstories, admiring the artwork and learning a handful of secrets. The “notes” pages in the back were filled with my hand-scrawled discoveries, codes and strategies like a little game diary.

The Nintendo games I’ve purchased so far for Switch continue the trend of missing manuals, but indie publishers like Nicalis have begun to revive them. Cave Story+ was just announced for a June 20th Nintendo Switch release- with an instruction booklet highlighted.

The Binding of Isaac included a gorgeous instruction manual which conjured nostalgia feels for the original Legend of Zelda on NES with its shiny gold cover.

And that’s not all! Indie physical releases are becoming known for including extras and trinkets. If you pre-ordered Isaac from Amazon (or were lucky enough to get an early edition from another retailer), you got two sheets of stickers AND a reversible game cover!


Goodies in my copy of The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+

When and IF Axiom Verge comes to the Switch- the chances of which Tom Happ told me were “decent” back in January, though a Switch release has not yet been confirmed– I’d suspect it will follow a similar format to its other physical releases and include some extras like the STELLAR soundtrack.


It’s exciting again to pick up a physical copy of a game. And I no longer feel like game cases on my shelf look childish or take away from my aesthetic. Hopefully the future of Switch releases holds many more surprises and shelf candy!