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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
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2004 @ 7:22am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Grrrr, I think the previous commentor should have played a game before he started typing. Perhaps he may have made a comment that flowed in a coherent manner, was spelled correctly, and made some damn sense! I won't let that be the last comment in defense of game play at work. In the office environment I believe it is a necessity for the preservation of sanity. Sitting all day looking at paperwork and a computer screen is painfully boring and it is easy to burnout. Having a diversion for the mind is necessary. Most people achieve this diversion by getting up and walking around chatting with friends. I find it far more irritating when someone meanders around the office talking about their new shoes and the weather. I think it is much better to take a temporary detour on our computers. It certainly isn't harmful as long as the work is getting done. Plus, it makes you feel better about what you are doing. It is like getting a cup of water while running a marathon. If you hadn't gotten the water you would run slower and slower until you were burnt out and quit. With the water you have a boost of energy and continue to the finish line. Let's all play games at work (or type long commentaries to articles)!

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