Every copy of Get Lamp, the text adventure/interactive fiction documentary by Jason Scott, ships with a uniquely numbered, collectible coin.
Initially I was slightly disappointed to learn that customers would not be able to reserve or choose specific numbers — of course after thinking about it, I realize what a logistical nightmare this would have been. On August 1st Jason posted Shipping Begins in Earnest, and on August 31st he posted that coin number 2,000 had left the building. When shipping 2,000 “anythings” in 30 days, I can’t imagine taking, tracking, and delivering specifically numbered coins to specific customers would be anything less than a major headache. On top of that, the really low numbers were reserved for investors, interviewees, and other groups, so those were already spoken for. Ultimately it would have been a big mess for a small pay off. Most people probably couldn’t care less about what specific number was stamped on their coin.
But I did — I wanted coin #405. If you are a child of the Internet, you may not feel any connection to your area code, but those of us who grew up using modems do (or at least did). Back then, people represented their area codes. Long before 90210 we had 213. One of the first groups of hackers to gain notoriety in the media were the Milwaukee 414s. Back in the day, I remember calling BBSes in 714 (California), 303 (Denver), 404 (Atlanta), and 312 (Chicago) … but 405 was mine. In fact, several years ago, I wrote a tribute to area code 405 for the Cult of the Dead Cow. As you can probably guess, it’s Text File #405.
After receiving coins #331 and #332 (I ordered two copies; one for me, one for Dad), I contacted Jason to find out if he was keeping a database as to which customer received which coin. Fortunately for me, fellow customer Shannon Harris announced in the comments of this post that she (I have assumed all along that Shannon is female) had coin #405. Jason got the two of us connected via e-mail and Shannon was gracious enough to agree to trade coins with me. The rest, as they say, is history.