I’m chatting with my friend on Signal when he tells me he’s running out of universe. He’s playing Universal Paperclips, a browser game created by NYU professor Frank Lantz, and he’s keeping me posted on his progress. For a long time there has been a number on his screen which says “0.000000000000% of universe explored,” and it’s never moved. Now, suddenly, it moves. Over the next few hours it speeds up, rising rapidly through the decimals to 1% and then 20%, and as it does my friend gets unexpectedly choked up. "Only a few moments," he says. "Hold my hand?" I emote squeezing his hand.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/7xwb8z/universal-paperclips-depth-desire