Recently, to the edge‘s reviews team is trying to get rid of some of the older products around our office. We’ve donated or thrown away some truly prehistoric gadgets. But there was one device that, the second I laid eyes on it, I knew I needed to protect. It’s the Razer Firefly, a seven-year-old mouse pad with a glowing RGB lightstrip around the edge. It was such a silly and extravagant device, and I knew it was made for me.
I now use a Razer Firefly on my desk to the edgeManhattan office for a few weeks. It offers 16.8 million customizable color options. It sits next to me all day, glowing purple, pink, red, yellow, blue and everything in between. “But what does that do? do?” various people ask me as they walk by. It definitely squats, I tell them. It’s an aesthetic, a vibe. But some days, that vibe is everything.
It’s definitely fun to hate ugly RGB setups. (And I’ve been known to do this myself, because I think some colorful products are really overpowering — Asus ROG Strix line, I’m looking at you.)
But every day I use Firefly, I (slightly) warm to the idea of a color setup. For those of us who often work in isolation (because we’re remote or because our coworkers are many), existence can feel like a hamster wheel — we work and work and work continues, and co-workers and friends are names and icons that inhabit our screens, all from somewhere. It is very difficult to convince ourselves that someone is listening.
So even though I know it won’t be my basement gamer in the mid-2010s, I’ll continue to let the mouse pad go. Although sun cycles and capitalist routines have become so natural as to feel monotonic, no one can predict what color will appear next on a firefly.
The office around me may be gray and empty, but Firefly is bright, happy to be here, and very much alive. That LED strip is pointless fun on a utility-laden desk, and those twists are a reminder that there are small joys, surprising pleasures, and a world outside these walls.