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Home Screen - Sim Cities
By The Verge • Issue #14 • View online
A holiday weekend
We jump in

🌆 Free Cities
It’s a three-day weekend for many, which is an opportunity to enjoy the warm glow of the computer screen.
If you need something to put on that screen, there’s a crazy good deal happening on the Epic Games Store: Civilization 6 is now free through 11 AM ET on May 28th. There’s really no reason not to get in on the deal, even though in my opinion the best in the series was Civ IV, voiced by the late Leonard Nimoy.
Civilization 6 is the latest in the legendary series and it’s one of my favorites. If you’ve never played a Civ game before, be careful: you might load it up only to find you’ve traveled through time to Tuesday morning without putting it down.
🚔 A TV Drama Like No Other
Before giving away Civ 6, another huge title was recently available for free on the Epic Games Store. Grand Theft Auto 5, which is one of the best-selling games of all time, was released into the wild for a brief time. (This was apparently a boon for hackers, who have plagued the game’s online mode since it was released.)
GTA 5 is no longer free, but the best way to enjoy it still is. That’s because in recent years GTA 5 has become a platform for one of the craziest and most innovative television dramas ever made. Modders have turned the game into the set of a cops vs. robbers-style show that airs 24 hours a day on Twitch.
As far as I know, there’s nothing else like it in the history of entertainment. On any given day, there are dozens of storylines being developed as various individuals and factions collide. Some of the top streamers on Twitch participate, but they’re just as interesting as players with small audiences who fill various roles in the drama: like doctors, police cadets, reporters, and even real estate agents. You can read about just one of these cast members, a fictional driving instructor and part-time serial killer, over at Polygon.
The best part of GTA roleplay is the ability to see the stories from multiple perspectives. I mostly follow a group of criminals known as the “Chang Gang” that routinely causes all kinds of chaos in the city. When they’re playing together, you can switch between their streams to get each player’s perspective in the story and hear them talk out-of-character to their viewers. And when they get in scuffles with other characters, you can often watch from the perspective of the people they come into contact with. You can watch police chases from the eyes of the cops and the criminals at the same time. It’s truly wild.
You can find these various streams just by looking through the GTA V category on Twitch, which is mostly dominated by roleplayers.
🏡 Welcome Home
We’re back today with some more work from home setups from readers!
First, say hello to Zach from Washington, DC. “I’m a data engineer and I absolutely love mechanical keyboards,” Zach says. “The most unique part of my setup is the Power Caller Corporate Manual framed above the screen. It’s a real prop from Sorry To Bother You.”
Next, we’ve got Andrea: a lawyer from Italy, who offers us this serene skylight situation:
Specs for this setup include an arm-mounted iPad Pro (2018), a 15" Macbook Pro (2017), a 2nd-gen Echo Plus, Airpods Pro, Philips Hue lights, and what appears to be a giant honkin’ vape. You do you.
Finally, we have greetings from Edgar in Austin, Texas. “I work for a data science company and am fortunate to be able to do 100% of my job from home,” Edgar says.
“Antonio is my coworker. Great during Zoom meetings but pretty much useless any other time.”
Sorry, Edgar, but I disagree. Antonio looks hard at work in that bed to me.
👋 Happy Weekend!
I hope you all have a warm and restful weekend. See you on the other side!
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The Verge

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