Introduction

I’ve always loved capsule machines. Long before I’d learned the word “gashapon,” I had a fixation. I'd hound my parents for quarters. Inspect each machine’s contents, making my decision, a gamble on what small prize I could receive for my tiny offering. Twisting the metal handle, with its distinctive ratcheting clink, watching the plastic bubbles seismically shift, and then lifting the little door to retrieve my treasure.

And they were always treasures. Hatched, like a ritual, from plastic “eggs.” Whether it was a ring, a fake mustache, a sticky gelatinous hand, a little plastic critter to cap a pencil—it didn't matter. There was magic in every little capsule, the potential and surprise.

Small treasures.

I wanted a space for little wonders. Density. There are many games outlets that do wonderfully with expansive ideas and long-form writing. But I wanted a place to explore those little ideas— of games or games culture—the fragments that don't work as full 2,500-word articles, or the passionate digressions we've all had to cut. A home where they wouldn't get swept away in the rushing tide of the Twitter feed.

I wanted a place for compact prizes that fit in a pocket, that could be pulled out, mulled over, and lined up among your favorite thoughts. A home for micro genre pieces that, despite their size, were no less crucial. And I thought, I couldn't be the only one who wished for that.

To my delight, I wasn't wrong. And the writers who have contributed to this first issue have gone above and beyond my expectations. As each piece came in, I felt the familiar thrill of awaiting the capsule to slide down the shoot and plunk into my warm hands.

And my hope is you will find just as much to treasure here, as well.  ◒