by Mike Masnick

Playing Games At Work Is Also Good For You

from the well,-there-goes-my-day dept

At first I thought this was another reference to the study we mentioned earlier in the week saying that personal surfing at work was good for you, but it appears to be a completely different study saying that playing video games at work may be good for you, as well. They're really talking about the same general concept, though. Having your brain always on the full "on" position isn't good for productivity. Being able to take short breaks to recharge your brain is much better - whether it's surfing the sports pages or playing a little solitaire. Of course, we suggested this back in May, saying that some were already questioning whether playing games at work might be good for you, as beyond just a typical break it can also encourage certain activities (such as teamwork, if you get people playing a team-based game). As for this study, it's amusing to note that the researchers had a lot of trouble finding companies willing to let their employees play games. However, the results show that workers who got to play up to an hour of games a day were more productive and more satisfied in their jobs. Of course, someone will come along and point out that if people are just playing games, no work will get done - but nowhere is anyone saying that people should play games all day long. However, as a way to take a break here and there, it appears that it may be a lot more beneficial than harmful. Anyway, now that I've said that, I'm off to go spend the rest of the day personal surfing, napping and playing video games...

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Steve Sanderson, Nov 7th, 2003 @ 12:19pm

    Napster logic redux

    This is getting to be a tired subject... again, the Napster logic at work. Again, surfing sports pages and playing solitaire is NOT conducive to enhanced productivity, even if its not done all day. Playing video games does NOT enhance productivity, it's time to grow up, kids. Engaging in non-work related actvitities may, at the very best, not be HARMFUL to productivity, it's a childish pipe dream (and firm espousal of the Napster logic) to say that it actually ENHANCES productivity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 7th, 2003 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Napster logic redux

    Right. The studies made up their facts and figures, whereas you, with your infinite knowledge of these things just knows better...

    Go back to troll land...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Steve Sanderson, Nov 7th, 2003 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Napster logic redux

    I'll go back to troll-land, and you can go back to playing video games and downloading illegal MP3s... let us know when you reach adulthood and we'll talk...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2003 @ 4:12pm

    Mike, will you hire me

    Wow. You're ok with surfing and playing games in addition to work. Please give me a job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 7th, 2003 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Mike, will you hire me

    Sarcasm aside, don't misunderstand the point. If you're playing games or doing personal surfing at work, you better be damn productive when you are working. If you're not getting your work done, then that's no good. For example, a few weeks ago, someone here discovered the game Fishy - which is simple, yet addictive. He admitted to me that he spent the previous half an hour playing the game, and then tried to get me hooked as well. But, this guy gets a ton of work done. Why should I care if he uses a half an hour to play a random game, while getting more work done than two other people during the rest of his time?

    There's a really simple test for all of this. If you're productive, who cares what you're doing every minute of the day. If you're not productive, then clearly, finding out you're playing games all day isn't going to win you any fans.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    KL, Nov 7th, 2003 @ 5:35pm

    re: "Playing Games At Work Is Also Good For You"

    Why is it that techdirt is constantly trying to kid itself that video games are a good and wholesome thing? Could it be that some of its writers are trying to validate their own problem with video game overplay?Ö or give credence to the bad gaming habits of many Techdirt readers?

    Hereís the short of it. Video games are a waste of time. There are far better ways to spend oneís time, far more creative and productive things to do with a computer.

    Iím sick of hearing only one side of this debate in the TD feeds. Are people so stupid and unimaginative that they canít think of anything better to do, hour after hour, than play games? I wonder sometimes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Frank, Nov 7th, 2003 @ 9:17pm


    Corporate executives go on all kinds of bullshit retreats and conferences where they waste DAYS at a time looking at booths and playing golf, and at most come back with a few neat Powerpoint presentation handouts. And they have relatively stimulating jobs. But God forbid Joe Schmoe takes a couple minutes playing Solitaire for a short break from mindless data entry - he's the bad guy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    eeyore, Nov 10th, 2003 @ 11:51am

    Re: Napster logic redux

    It still doesn't diminish productivity as much as the chain smokers does, Steve. The average adult can only focus on a task at hand for about thirty minutes at a stretch without needing a break. So is spending your ten minute coffee break surfing the internet any different than reading the newspaper except that you can't take it in the crapper with you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Tyson, Jul 20th, 2006 @ 7:37am

    Games At Work

    Games at work is and can be productive.

    I play games and surf probly 3 hrs out of my day. However during the other 5 I am productive and out work my co-workers. My numbers within the dept prove this. My numbers are above the average here. if i didnt play these games when I get tired and aggrivated with the job I probly would have quit by now. Now you have the smokers - they waste a godo 10-15 mins every hr smoking. Then they come back and talk and never take calls. also you have the people who work very slowly on purpose. Playing games at work is just fine. Otherwise I would have lost my job by not being "productive" when productivity counts at my job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Billis, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 10:24am

    Re: re: "Playing Games At Work Is Also Good For Yo

    Games can teach strategy and exercise the mind, but it seems some out of ignorance would throw chess or RTS's out the window.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Ben, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 7:57am

    I heard it was evil to play board games, so the same must apply to all games, computer games, console games, making comments on web site games, etc. In fact I've heard any time you have free you should turn it into work time, games a complete waste of time. Haha.

    Some things in moderation are just fine, all work and no play makes you a grumpy man. On the other hand, 3 hours of gaming at work a day?????? That might be a little much dude. :) Everyone is so extreme, there are ways to balance all of this stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Suz, Mar 10th, 2008 @ 1:49pm

    playing games during school

    I agree with you that people need down time and playing solitaire just might do it, however, I would like to know your thoughts on high school students playing games in class. I have a young man who is in my class for 90 minutes. He probably plays games for at least 15 or 20 minutes. He's not very social and works very fast and is accurate doing his work. I guess I would like some input on how to keep students on task. Would love a discussion on this topic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    richinvb, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 1:32pm

    Gaming - Surfing

    Working a 9 hour day and getting paid for 8 requires me to take a 1 hour lunch. I unwind at my desk while eating with a bit of gaming and/or surfing. I see it as my time and it rejuvs me for the next 4 hours. (I am a manager btw)

    Why does playing games = a need for someone to grow up? I am 40 and love to play a good game offline or on. Seems the casinos are pretty full of "old" people playing games. World Poker Championships anyone?

    KL vid games are a waste of "your" time not mine. I have a good group of friends online that I have spent time in real life with and have come to like them better than some of my long time friends (we have a lot of similar interests) :) Happy gaming.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Matthew, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 5:58am

    ur all dumb, don't matter

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    matthew, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 5:59am

    Your all dumb. I am a dishwasher, i do as i desire for i am god of dishes. boo-yaa!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Abdulrahman, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 5:12pm

    We actually discussed this topic with it's comment in class today !! comment number 15 just killed me . it's funny to see this comment in a university class XD .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Cheryl Khan, Dec 4th, 2013 @ 8:03am

    Company Culture

    I'm in the middle on this issue. I do agree that workers perform better when they are happy. However, I wonder how playing computer games will be beneficial for the company as a whole. At FourSquare, they do have a relaxed culture. Check it out here:

    They are allowed to play games (similar to Google but these multi-player games build cohesion amongst the group. The link talks about game tables being used as a "team-building" device at work. Hehe Forward it to your boss!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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