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Miscellaneous

by Mike Masnick




Play Games At Work

from the interesting-idea... dept

John writes in with a link to an interesting article about whether or not people should be allowed to play video games at work. I've argued often enough that companies shouldn't worry about people surfing the internet from work, especially since studies have shown they make up the work. More to the point, though, I think it's more of a drain on productivity when you're working non-stop for many hours without giving your brain a chance to cool off, or work on something different. Providing some sort of break makes sense. It's why most people take little breaks on their own - whether to talk to their neighbor, grab some food, or just stare off into space. So, what about playing video games at work? The writer argues that it's probably better than just having someone snooze off - on the assumption they're going to unproductive during those breaks anyway. He even argues that it encourages skills that are useful for productivity (though, that may depend on the person's job). Of course, one issue with games is that they can become somewhat addictive, and tough to stop playing. However, it comes back to the same thing I've said before: if they're getting their work done, it shouldn't be an issue if they're occasionally taking a little break. It's when they're abusing the system, and not getting their work done that it becomes a problem. Personally, I'd prefer not to play video games during work, because video games tend to require my full attention. I've found that when I take other breaks my brain keeps working on certain problems - and sometimes comes up with the answer during those "productivity breaks". If I were playing a game (depending on the game), I'm not sure I'd be able to really be doing that kind of thinking.

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  1. identicon
    Noe Lopes, 29 Dec 2005 @ 8:12am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I agree completely. Rather than quietly playing a game, they choose to converse with someone else, thereby effecting that person's productivity, and being a distraction to anyone who may be trying to work within ear-shot. I should say it doesn't bother me, but probably because I've grown accustomed to working while hearing other people talk. You have no choice in the land of cubicles. Breaks are a neccessity, no doubt about it. What people do with those breaks should be largely up to them. Surfing for porn on the company computers is something that I could say is inappropriate. Games? Give me a break, there are games that challenge people more than the work they get paid to do, and increase their mental capacity rather than drain it.

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