Recently, The Verge’s reviews team has been making an effort to get rid of some of the ancient products we have lying around our office. We have 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 rescue. It was the Razer Firefly, a seven-year-old mouse pad with a glowing RGB lightstrip around the edge. It was a beautifully silly and extra device, and I knew it was made for me.
I have now been using the Razer Firefly at my desk in The Verge’s Manhattan office for several weeks. It offers 16.8 million customizable color options. It sits at my side all day, flashing purple, pink, red, yellow, blue, and everything in between. “But what does it do?” various people have asked me as they walk by. It does absolutely diddly squat, I tell them. It is an aesthetic, a vibe. But some days, that vibe is everything.
It’s certainly fun to hate on obnoxious RGB setups. (And I’ve been known to do it myself because I maintain that some colored products are truly excessive — Asus ROG Strix line, I’m looking at you.)
But every day I use the Firefly, I warm more up to the idea of a (slightly) colored setup. For those of us who often work in solitude (either because we’re remote or because most of our co-workers are), existence can feel like a bit of a hamster wheel — we work and work and the work continues, and while co-workers and friends exist as names and icons that live on our screens, there are points where it’s hard to convince ourselves that it’s all going anywhere, that anyone at all is listening.
So while I know it could not be more mid-2010s basement gamer of me, I will continue to allow myself the mouse pad. While the sun cycles and capitalist routines become so instinctual as to feel monotonic, one can never predict which color will next appear on the Firefly.
The office around me may be gray and empty, but the Firefly is bright, happy to be here, and very much alive. That LED strip is a twinge of senseless fun on a desk full of utility, and that twinge is a reminder that there are small pleasures, there are surprising joys, and there is a world outside these walls.