Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Occasionally I contribute to a Kickstarter or Indiegogo or something of the sort--not that often because I'm not rich, but often enough that I'm all too familiar with the aftermath.

Here's how it usually goes. You get excited about a project, look the rewards over, think about how much money you can spend, and contribute. Then you wait. Sometimes the project doesn't get funded and you're secretly relieved that you're not out that $10 or $20 or whatever.

If the project does get funded, you then get 10,000 emails about it in the next six weeks. Then silence. Then one day, if you're lucky, your thing shows up. You've forgotten about it by then. You wonder why you ever gave money for such a stupid gimcracky thing.

Actually, I've gotten a lot of awesome stuff from Kickstarters. But not always. Here, I'll break it down.

If you contribute to...

An album: It will be 4-6 months late but when it arrives it's been signed in silver gel ink by all the band members. You listen to it a couple of times. One or two of the tracks are really good.

A podcast: Your stickers will arrive on time and your laptop will no longer look so bare.

A TV show: The show will be picked up by Netflix. A year after you contributed you'll receive an email with a code to watch a special behind-the-scenes/making-of special, which you will never watch. You will also never watch the actual show because you don't have Netflix. For some reason you feel cheated.

A movie: Every six months you'll get an email saying the DVDs/Bluerays are shipping. They never ship.

A tabletop game: It's 6-12 months late but it arrives. You never play it but the artwork is really pretty.

A computer game: It's 1-2 years late but you finally get the Steam code. You play it once. It's okay.

A book: It's a year late but it when it arrives it's an attractive addition to your "to be read" shelf, where it will stay forever.

A practical item: After a flurry of emails about production issues, it arrives 6-8 months late. You wonder why you thought you needed it. You put it in a drawer.

An art item: After a flurry of emails about the artist's life issues, it arrives 6-8 months late. It's not as pretty as the picture online made it look. You put it on a shelf and forget about it until you need a last-minute birthday present for someone you don't know very well.

A comic: It's six months late and you read it in five minutes. It's okay.

A band's tour: The band never comes anywhere near where you live but the t-shirt looks good on you.

A performance art project: Six people contribute to the project, which is run by a friend of yours. They cancel it before it ends. You commiserate with them but are secretly glad.

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