It seems like a pretty straightforward issue. A state senator in North Carolina is claiming that he can save the state tons of cash by passing laws banning games like Solitaire and Minesweeper from government computers. While many may react by saying that state employees shouldn't be wasting time like that, the issue isn't quite that simple. It's not like banning these games will suddenly turn non-productive time into productive time. If state workers are looking for ways to slack off, they'll find them somewhere else easily enough. As plenty of studies have shown workers are feeling overburdened by new technologies that make their worklife creep into their personal life. Letting someone blow off a bit of steam by playing some solitaire shouldn't be a big issue. In fact, if they can do it quickly during down time it may be a "refresher" that lets them be more productive the rest of the time. Now, obviously, there are some who abuse the availability of the games, but those people should be found out for not completing their work -- not for playing games. All this will really do is make a bunch of state workers even more disgruntled -- and that can't be good for productivity.
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