Treat yourself to a playful series of mysterious packages


Every time I enter my building lobby and see a puffy envelope, a lumpy box strangled with glossy tape or a parcel with a foreign customs stamp, I look to see if it's for me. I mean, I never have any reason to think it would be for me; it's not my birthday, I haven't ordered anything, and very few people have my current address. But I look anyway, because the very idea of a surprise mysterious package is so much fun.

If you're like me, there's a new endeavor you'll want to follow: The recently-Kickstarted Mysterious Package Company will send you or a friend weird surprises that slowly form a story over time. I've had some mailings from the Company's early efforts, and I'll tell you, I really enjoyed prying a weird old statue out of a wooden box full of sawdust. It was like my old point-and-click adventure mysteries come to life.


It is kind of a game, in that you get to assemble the pieces of a story as your shipments come. There are games people behind it—the project curator on Kickstarter, Jason Kapalka, was one of the original co-founders of the long-running PopCap Entertainment back in the day, for one. On the campaign page, you can learn more about the delightful mystery packages available and get yourself some rewards if you're into that sort of thing.

It sounds even more fun to sign a friend up for Mysterious Packages, and then watch and pretend you know nothing about them. When I was a kid I was just waiting to be recruited into a detective agency: an adult quietly signing me up for this back then would have made me flip my lid. Object-oriented play is such a fun design space, isn't it? It's like an ARG, except it isn't selling you anything awful in the end!