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Home Screen - Another Day At The Paperclip Factory

Home Screen
Home Screen - Another Day At The Paperclip Factory
By The Verge • Issue #6 • View online
Small note: This newsletter now appears with “The Verge” as the sender to help folks recognize it in their inboxes.
Good morning, friends.
It’s Quibi day!
What is Quibi? It stands for “quick bites,” a method of eating corn on the cob. It’s also a new streaming service that works by streaming money from investors into Super Bowl advertisements.
The Verge has it covered:
Chris Welch has a review of the software, which actually does have a neat little trick.
Joshua Rivera has a review of the first set of Quibi shows.
Liz Lopatto has a profile of Quibi boss Meg Whitman.

📅 What Day Is It?
Welcome to another week indoors. If you need help remembering which day it is, my colleague Chaim Gartenberg has a handy new Twitter account for you.
It tweets the day. That’s it, that’s the tweet.
🥚 Eggdog Update
🎧 Adventure Time
Before making a tabletop game of my own, I listened to hundreds of hours of “real-play” RPGs. Back when commuting to work and taking lunch breaks were part of my life, I’d listen to groups of friends go on adventures in far away worlds.
Even if you’ve never played a game like Dungeons & Dragons before, it can be a lot of fun to listen to people play. The best tabletop shows are less about the rules and more about the journey. Here are some I recommend.
This is the gold standard of real-play RPG podcasts. Hosted by three brothers and their dad, the first arc of the series (which has 69 episodes… nice) is probably one of the best podcasts ever made.
If you’re thinking about building your own world, Friends at the Table is a great listen. The show’s hosts are fiercely imaginative, and the editing is solid.
Most RPG shows out there aren’t hosted by famous people, and Sneak Attack! is one of them. But the whole point of real-play podcasts is to feel like you’re a friend in the party, and the shows with real-life friends are usually the best at that.
Even as someone who loves D&D, the first arc of this series is excruciating to listen to. The early episodes take hours to resolve single battles, and the inebriated hosts often get bogged down after progressively forgetting more and more rules. But if you can make it through a rough start, you’ll be rewarded with some characters that feel like family.
📎 Universal Paperclips
Universal Paperclips is a 2017 game created by Frank Lantz. It starts unassumingly with a bare interface and a “make paperclip” button; when you press the button, you make a single paperclip. Incidentally, you also begin the end of the world.
Paperclips is one of the best games I’ve ever played and I still revisit it once every few months. It’s a smart, funny, and challenging experience that unfolds delightfully in slow-motion; for new players, it might take hours before things really take off and you see what the game is really about.
You don’t have to be a “gamer” to enjoy Universal Paperclips, all you need is a computer, a web browser, and a little imagination to fill in the blanks. In the end, you’ll look back on what you created with horror, or a sense of beauty and pride.
🏡 Working From Home
Good news! From now on, I’m going to be sharing work from home setups from readers in every issue of the newsletter. A lot of you have asked for more, and my favorite part of doing this so far has been getting messages from people who want to share their stories and spaces.
If you’d like to share, send photo or two of your place in an email to homescreen@theverge.com.
First up is Marcel, a lawyer from Brazil. I appreciate the simplicity of the scene: laptop, lamp, cat. What else do you really need?
Next, we’ve got a tidy setup from Jim, a project manager at a small software company servicing assisted living homes. Jim was nice enough to share the full specs for this PC, but I’m keeping those to myself: all you need to know is that it rips.
“This is my office right next to my bedroom,” Jim says. “I’ve found waking up and going through the normal shower/coffee routine helps jumpstart my day and increases productivity.”
Thanks, Jim!
Finally, here’s Ronin, a graphic designer in my own backyard of Brooklyn, NY.
“Since my back kind of sucks, my wife made this setup for me on our dining table using stuff from around the house,” Ronin says. “It’s not perfect but it works.”
Nothing’s perfect right now, but I salute all of you who are making it work. Thanks, Ronin.
😊 Make The Internet Nicer
That’s all for now, and we’ll be back Wednesday.
But I’ll leave you all with a simple request: since we’re all stuck here, try to do your part making the internet a nicer place. Instead of writing that nasty comment or tweet, consider giving someone your appreciation instead. People’s grandparents are getting Zoom bombed, for crying out loud.
The internet may have never been a real town square, but now we’re all contestants on Big Brother, and the web is our living room. Let’s all do our part and make it a nicer place to live.
-tc
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