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Does Gaming Reduce Productivity?

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the mandated-metal-slug-break dept.

Games 349

Scott Taulbee writes "Bob Mandel of AVault has given us his interesting views on why playing games does not reduce productivity, but rather is a stimulating alternative to 'snoozing, daydreaming, overconsuming food and beverages, or sitting like a mindless slug waiting for time to pass.' He suggest that '..compared to other forms of recreational activity that could be enjoyed during work breaks, computer gaming has the greatest chance to hone skills useful for productivity in the workplace.' Should we all take this article to our bosses with requests for installing a GameCube on every desk?"

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Something to do. (2, Insightful)

sporty (27564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994221)

Only when you have something to do

Something Else To Do: Impeach Bush +1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994428)

For more information []

Good news: Ari Fleischer resigns!!!! (Remember, regime change begins at home)

Pu Tang (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994228)

You greasy pimply acne infested Linux geeks can talk about "Games: Does Gaming Reduce Productivity?" all you want.

I'm going out to get some!

Later, dorks!

Re:Pu Tang (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994286)

It's "poon," not "pu". Enjoy your trailer trash, loser.

FUCK YOU (-1, Troll)

PanicOfTheMasses (649826) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994297)

Hey, asshole, I'm proud of the pimples and of being a Linux geek. I'm damned proud to say I run Mandrake. I'm also damned proud of my homosexual attraction to guk. So if you don't like it, fuck you.

You go to hell. You go to hell and you die.

Hey, Gamer Tards (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994493)

Way to go! []

Well, (5, Funny)

Steveftoth (78419) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994230)

my employer won't even let me read the article because it's a potential waste of time to go to 'those' websites. So I would say that the time would be much better used on work! I don't but my co-workers do spent a good amount of time playing minesweeper though.

Re:Well, (1) (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994432)

Minesweeper?! Freecall all the way baby.

Or you can bring your own laptop, chock full of mp3s, games, and all the joys of computing!

Go for it. (2, Funny)

sahala (105682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994233)

Be proactive [] .

Ask for forgiveness, not permission.

My dream! (1)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994236)

I'd love to have a 'brain slug' like those in Futurama, that I would put on my head whenever I am waiting for time to pass!

Re:My dream! (1)

Mogomra (654796) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994308)

You can get a brain slug here [] .

Games are no different than other distractions (5, Insightful)

bathmatt (638217) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994241)

People that will waste time with games when they could/should be doing something else will waste time doing something else (posting on slashdot). I don't see having an outlet like a game changing that.

Re:Games are no different than other distractions (2, Funny)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994379)

But watching TV and reading slashdot will turn you into a brain dead zombie, while playing games will stimulate... something or other.

How about wanking? (0, Troll)

siskbc (598067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994388)

Hell, gaming isn't near as distracting as wanking, and my coworkers don't get nearly as grossed out. That and none of those pesky sexual harassment suits. Or messy stains under the desk.

or.. (5, Funny)

gspira (654441) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994242)

but rather is a stimulating alternative to 'snoozing, daydreaming, overconsuming food and beverages, or sitting like a mindless slug waiting for time to pass.'

Or perhaps, say, actually working?

Bah! (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994245)

Does gaming reduce productivity? Hell yes it does. I remember those Marathon (bungie) matches before exams as an undergrad. I remember what Deus Ex did to my productivity as a graduate student as well. Come on, be honest here. My most productive hours are usually in the evening and if I am playing games at those hours, I am not writing my dissertation or grants or papers.

Re:Bah! (3, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994275)

I should have added that Slashdot also reduces productivity significantly, but at least then hopefully you are thoughtfully responding to posts. :-)

Re:Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994360)

As a Mac Gamer, I can certainly attest to the fact that super breakout hones my ability on the keyboard arrow keys!

What companies should do (4, Interesting)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994364)

I have been in environments where a break room had a TV and a gaming console. The idea of playing Halo, or other games either single-player or competitively during one's breaks was a good one. It helped relieve stress, helped to build friendships during those 1 on 1 games, etc. I think that it might be a distraction to put a game cube on every desk but one for the department may make sense.

Re:What companies should do (5, Interesting)

cruppel (603595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994470)

I agree that it does sometimes spark companionship between people that otherwise might have not met. I met a couple people at work through this very manner and I must say it was easier than your usual talk of weather or perhaps a semi-uncomfortable lunch where very little is exchanged until you warm up to someone.

ack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994252)

I read the title and I immediately thought: "If this was Fark, It'd better have an 'obvious' tag next to it."

Re:ack (1)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994361)

I thought the same thing. Too bad I blew my mod points already today...

Where I stopped reading (5, Funny)

gughunter (188183) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994256)

"True, some offerings are more draining than others, as, for example, some intense action titles leave me limp."

You HAD to take it somewhere dirty. (2, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994395)

And buy it a drink, and then another. Tell it it's pretty and you want to show it your etchings. Slowly unzip it's ...I'll just be walking away now.

Apparently my boss disagrees. (4, Funny)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994261)

Access to this web page is restricted at this time.

The Websense category "Games" is filtered.

URL: =reducprod

Re:Apparently my boss disagrees. (1)

slyguy420 (193568) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994511)

we have websense too and the most anooying blocks are gaming sites, yet I can access the link.. weird.

Concentration (1, Interesting)

mojowantshappy (605815) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994262)

I guess it is only specific games though, like more puzzle oriented games, because I know after playing a somehwhat frantic FPS like Quake III or a Half-Life mod my brain feels scattered. Though, that is more playing the game after like an hour, which I wouldn't be doing at work.

Re:Concentration (2, Insightful)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994396)

See, this is a big problem with video games- the term is so broad!! We lump any interactive entertainment that's on a computer into the video game catagory, which I don't normally havea problem with, until you get to this issue. This article is pointing to the minesweepers and solitares of the world, not the Quakes and the Half-Lifes (speaking of upcoming time wasters... drool...)

You would have an easier time convincing me that I'm made out of 100% metal than you would convincing me that EverQuest is on the road to productivity.

Gamecube? (1)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994265)

Bah, I demand an entire arcade installed next to the NOC!

Re:Gamecube? (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994450)

Bah, I demand an entire arcade installed next to the NOC!

We got a foosball table in our NOC after securing a large client account when I worked at a data center company.

Geeks make great foosball players!

Now that you bring it up... (5, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994270)

" Should we all take this article to our bosses with requests for installing a GameCube on every desk?"

Interesting that you should mention that. I'm a free-lance artist working in 3D. I recently discovered that when I play graphically interesing games on my GameCube (Star Fox Adventures, for example...) I get inspired with a new energy to work in Lightwave. I think I'm in an unusual scenario, though...

Gaming during work hours is a double-edged sword. It can be used effectively, it can be abused. At my full-time job, I'd occasionally fire up a game of Starcraft and spend about 45 mins or so (part of it during lunch break) playing it. But then when it came time to go home, I was comfortable leaving later. Instead of leaving because it was time to leave, I was leaving because I'd finished what I was working on. I'm not sure if that makes sense or not, but when you have to put off getting off, you look for whatever rational reason you can think of to leave work.

So yeah, I'd say there's some truth to it. If I could take say an hour during my day to pursue an interest of mine, I'd be less restless.

Re:Now that you bring it up... (0, Troll)

SpaceCadetTrav (641261) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994330)

Artists have a habit of calling any time-wasting activity "inspirational" and declaring that it improves their so-called "work".

Re:Now that you bring it up... (1)

cruppel (603595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994505)

Hey, if I can make money saying that then it doesn't bother me that you don't like it.

Re:Now that you bring it up... (5, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994506)

"Artists have a habit of calling any time-wasting activity "inspirational" and declaring that it improves their so-called "work". "

This is insightful? Have you noticed that a lot of modern games use art these days? Have you noticed that in school, artists study other works of art?

Creativity is not a scientific process. It's not something that works better just by throwing more hours into it. It's something that comes along when your brain is stimulated. I can't imagine you listening to music and not understanding that concept.

Interesting note:

- In the movie Final Fantasy, the scene where the soldiers drop down from a ship and land in a goo like substance to cushion their fall was inspired by a scuba diving trip.

- In Star Wars, The Phantom Menace, the pod race scene was inspired by a woman walking her two dogs that were nearly dragging her along by the leash.

- The game Tempest was inspired by a nightmare Jeff Minter had about monsters that'd crawl out of a hole in the ground.

So yeah, tell me all about how 'time wasting activities' aren't inspirational.

Out of context quote of the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994437)

...but when you have to put off getting off, you look for whatever rational reason you can think of to leave work.

Amen to that brother! Oh, wait...

Sure... (4, Insightful)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994272)

He suggest that '..compared to other forms of recreational activity that could be enjoyed during work breaks, computer gaming has the greatest chance to hone skills useful for productivity in the workplace.'

Exactly what useful skills am I honing? Mouse skills? Spatial relations? Ye olde Hand-I co-ordination

If anything, it increases my odds of going blind, getting carpal tunnel syndrome, and losing social skills, (Thou it might help my 733t h4x0rz r4p).

Re:Sure...733t Skillz (2, Insightful)

borkus (179118) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994527)

Actually, most people who game with a keyboard and mouse are better at using a computer in general. I have a friend where I work who does a lot of customer service work, using the mouse and keyboard simultaneously to work in multiple apps. None of the other people on his team are even half as fast as he is.

So how did he learn to use the mouse and keyboard simultaneously? By playing Quake, Warcraft, and Castle Wolfenstein to name a few.

Re:Sure... (1)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994535)

You'd be surprised. Not counting how much hard-core gamers learn about hardware and system configuration, watching the dynamics of FPS teamplay can be fascinating. A couple of the behaviours I've seen comfirmed over and over again: after a crushing or unexpected defeat a team loses drive and advances no further than the scene of their last loss, allowing the opposition to simply take the remaining objectives uncontested, and that the team which doesn't rest or stop trying almost always wins. 'Rallying the troops' becomes an experiment in balance between positive and negative reinforcement with direct relevance to anyone in management. Of course, in most companies team killing is strictly forbidden. :)

I am a linux game addict (3, Funny)

sneakybilly (537969) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994274)

I disagree with him, between couterstrike and neverwinter nights I haven't any time to contribute to open source projects. Daaaaammmmnnnn you Transgaming and Bioware.

Very true... (5, Funny)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994276)

Where I work, we spend most of the day running down ramps, jumping off springboards and collecting gold rings. I guess that's why I never got into Sonic the Hedgehog... it always felt to me like I was back at work. Ah well...

Does gaming reduce productivity? (5, Funny)

Moonshadow (84117) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994279)

I'll let you know right after I beat this level.

Re:Does gaming reduce productivity? (1)

etcpasswd (641551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994482)

If the game managed to keep you away from slashdot, that's the right step towards productivty ;)

The Slashdot Game.... (1)

Baron_911 (664953) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994281)

... cuts my productivity WAY down. I think a 5 minute game of Tekken or Ikaruga would be more productive :P

Gaming IS productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994284)

When I'm gaming, I'm not spending time hanging out on street corners, stealing, and smoking joints. When I'm not doing those things, I'm not a burden on society. When I'm not a burden on society, resources are not wasted on me, but rather go to productive use.

Gaming == productivity.

Related article: toys in the workplace. (1)

Mogomra (654796) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994287)

Article here [] .

Good article. (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994481)

And if a company tried to limit how I could decorate my area, I would not work for them. "Two personal items," what a bunch of crapola. I have so much stuff in my office I have to come in one day on a weekend to hang up all the framed posters and photos and stuff when I start a new job or move to a new space.


No gamecubes.... (5, Funny)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994288)

Instead of installing a gamecube on your desk, your boss will probably install a small rectangular pink piece of paper on your desk instead.

While I have found that gaems do not reduce it (0, Troll)

Bold Marauder (673130) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994289)

They do drastically interfere with moral. Deathmatch grudges tend to get sorted out on the coding floor instead of in the realms of quake.

Also, since you have to consider the fact that I'd be opening myself up to a discrimination lawsuit for allowing men to 'fragg' but not allowing women to 'IM'; I'd rather just cut the whole deal out.

So my office is a no-games office. Instead, I try to encourage people to bring in inspirational reading, such as the bible.

The employees seem to rather like the 'guess which book this verse came from' game that I started up. IT's the one that usually gets picked during our state-mandated ten-minute break periods.

Re:While I have found that gaems do not reduce it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994436)

WOW, I'm so glad that I don't work with you...

Sure...sounds great... (2, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994290)

But there is always someone who will ruin it by playing games all day instead of working. Then policy will be passed to ban all games from work computers.

Re:Sure...sounds great... (0, Troll)

Bold Marauder (673130) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994371)

Actually, I've found that 'surprise inspections' tend to do that rather well. Even though they were originally instituted to make sure that people weren't downloading porn, a pleasantly surprising side-benefit seems to be that people are less inclined to waste company time when they know they could get caught at any moment.

Except for the couple in closet. But two less homosexuals in the work place is a Good Thing[tm] (it's esp satisfying when they both break company policy and prove what I've always said about homos, in one swoop!)

Re:Sure...sounds great... (1)

nanojath (265940) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994374)

Maybe they could do like that 80's era cliche Japanese corporation with the workers doing their daily calisthenic and corporate anthem singing session. Every two hours everyone's computer would open the gaming window for fifteen minutes.

Is there any wonder? (2, Interesting)

InterruptDescriptorT (531083) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994291)

Is it any wonder jobs by the thousands are going over to India and the Phillipines? With Western programmers thinking they can play games on the company's clock and attempt to justify it as 'productive', I'm not at all surprised to see big multinationals outsource another 15% of their workforce to a far more motivated populace who won't be sidelined by such ridiculous distractions as games.

Re:Is there any wonder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994401)

Ha ha! Those Indian fools actually still think work matters! The only reason you go to work is to get by with as little work as possible, and eventually not have to work at all. Oh, so you say you're working to further technology and innovation? Well, I'm not sure what the all-fired rush is. We're only getting closer to destroying ourselves every day.

Re:Is there any wonder? (5, Insightful)

benzapp (464105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994491)

I know it. Imagine if we farmed out our development projects to the Chinese prison system. There, they only eat, sleep and write software. Every bug discovered by your manager results in a 100 volt zap to your left nut.

The problem with western people is they don't understand they are alive to serve their manager, nothing more. Eastern people however... they have a long and elustrious tradition of efficiency. India still has their wonderful caste system, the perfect social system for labor. China just prefers to use "prisoners" for the real dirty work.

The Americans better realize that you cannot be both free and be productive. If you have to work, you better shut the fuck up and do your job at all times you are conscious and not eating, sleeping, defecating, fucking...

slashdot reduces productivity (2, Interesting)

joeldg (518249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994293)

slashdot reduces productivity, not games. would be interesting to see how many hours total are wasted on slashdot per day..

anyway, back to tuxracer

Re:slashdot reduces productivity (1)

cruppel (603595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994526)

I can easily say I burn 3 hours per day if not more reading stuff on this damn website.

Just a tip... (1)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994295)

There's no need to wait for time to pass. It passes whether you wait for it or not.

*spooky zen music plays*

Brilliant (1)

new_breed (569862) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994300)

Sit all day behind a desk..and when you got some free time? Sit again behind some game..Why not use that time for something more 'sporty', go run around the building or something :O

not gaming per se, (5, Funny)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994301)

but there's quite a bit of computer skills that are gained from being around gaming:

I got a bit of knowledge early own by devising novel ways to get the game onto locked down machines, or how to get it to work without copy protection, or how to hide it from the admin's game purging cronjob or...

I agree (5, Insightful)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994303)

Unlike TV and eating, gaming is an interactive form of entertainment. Playing an RTS or strategy game would probably increase your ability to reason. Try saying that about watching an episode of "Cheers" for the eighth time. Seriously, if you look at the people who grew up on Nintendo vs the children who grew up glued to bad sitcom reruns, you notice a difference in intellectual quality.

Next up ... (5, Funny)

Hayzeus (596826) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994304)

Surfing Porn Found to Radically Improve Worker Productivity

Study Concludes Employers Should Provide Open Broadband Access and Kleenex.

Re:Next up ... (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994488)

And Higher Cubicle Walls.

Log Some Time in the Bathroom (4, Funny)

telstar (236404) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994312)

"Should we all take this article to our bosses with requests for installing a GameCube on every desk?"
  • Why do you think they invented the Gameboy Advance and bathroom stalls have doors?

No time for such stuff... (4, Insightful)

Obiwan Kenobi (32807) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994315)

Does anyone actually play FPS's and RPG's in the workplace? These games which require such focus, skill, concentration, and time?

I know I'll sneak in a game of Tetris, I'll throw in a game of Samurai [] , but as for a Quake or a Command and Conquer, it has to be while The Boss is Gone and I Know He's Not Coming back.

I wouldn't say it hurts on productivity, because people are going to goof off whether its video games or porn or email (the latter there is a HUGE productivity waste, and all fellow sys admins know it).

I don't necessarily see Half Life 2 or Doom 3 sucking the life out of any office/shop, but I certainly don't see myself with the time to play them. In my line of work, calls come in all day long, and I need my desktop applications available to do my job (VNC, et al).

Plus, my dual LCD setup is a pain in the ass for gaming.

Maybe the article has call centers in mind. Or programming houses. But in my business-type environment, there is simply no time for it.

Playing with fire (1)

Lasuuco Tulkas (598141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994316)

"computer gaming has the greatest chance to hone skills useful for productivity in the workplace" Sure, it may improve on hand eye coordination, or the ability to solve puzzles - but the problem with games is that they are designed to keep you playing, to be addictive (otherwise they arn't fun). You may gain skills, but those skills will simply be wasted on the games anyway - and in the mean time you get really good at those games and subsequently want to do something you are good at.

That depends on your job! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994323)

Whenever I'm playing Quake3 online, after a few minutes into the game, my adrenaline goes haywire and I feel like my mind is razor sharp.
Drawback to that is if I start losing, my adrenaline turns to rage.

Maybe it affects my job, maybe it doesn't.
and maybe I'm a mail carrier, and maybe I'm not.....

Didn't they try something like this... (2, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994327)

Didn't they try something like this at all those dot com companies? Oh, look how well it worked for them.

Let's face it, the only reason anyone does any work at work is because it's marginally less tedious than the alternative activities that you can engage in until 5pm. Excluding the ones in the stationary cuboard with your secretary of course.

Re:Didn't they try something like this... (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994454)

the only reason anyone does any work at work is because it's marginally less tedious than the alternative activities that you can engage in until 5pm

That, and deadlines...You stop missing deadlines, whether you're playing games or diligently working 9-5, and you wouldn't have that tedious job to go to.

Truth is, if you're playing games, but turning in excellent work to your boss on time, he won't care. If you're not wasting your time at all, but you're still not being productive, you're not going to hold on to that job (or at least, you shouldn't). The key is not "whether games increase productivity"...I'm sure it hurts productivity for some, and it helps for others. The important part is finding whatever increases productivity for you and hope your boss sees it that way as well, and won't interfere.

I was working, really. (1)

cqpalzm (564996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994328)

I think it's another case of trying to excuse what you'd do naturally and give some reason to try and get away with it. "Oh, you're not wasting company money, you're doing research into the Metroid power jump! My mistake, I should have known!" Like that document claiming that hackers are just doing what they do out of 'curiousity'. Oh, you can't be jailed, you're obviously not guilty of fraud or theft, you were just curious! Silly us!

Reality vs. Your Boss's Fantasy World (5, Insightful)

Bonker (243350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994329)


You code in the shower in the morning and transcribe your ideas into your IDE. You take long breaks at work to figure out problems. You think best when your hands are occupied or when some other minor task is distracting you slightly. You frequently work late or at home because thats when your mind is working. You are paid based on an avarge number of the lines of code you write per time measured. Big, time-consuming projects are intersperesed with smaller, less intenstive projects.

Your Boss's Fansty World:

From 8:00AM to 5:00PM your mind belongs to the company. You are able to transform business ideas into code every minute of that time and can do so without fail, regardless of the problem being presented. You are interchangable with other programmers and need not understand the whole project you're working on at any given time. You are capable of producing bug-free code on the first revision given normal working conditions. Application code is a commodity and is of the same quality, regardless who wrote it. You frequently work late because you are a salary employee and can be demanded to make more application code per work-day. You are paid per workday rather than code per average unit time.

The result: You sneak goofing off when you're able and end up working more 'off the clock' hours.

This is frickin' stupid. (0)

Chromodromic (668389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994331)

Gaming reduces productivity as much as sex leads to pregnancy and cigarettes lead to cancer, which is to say, not always, but frequently enough that you should watch your habits, be honest about your participation and be willing to deal with it.

Only game industry pundits, who comment on an industry currently over-romanticized in the media and over-in-love-with-itself, would ask itself this question and include with that query the following: "Naturally, part of the question here is how one defines productivity..." Yeah, no duh, nimwit. Let's just call advocacy "advocacy" and not couch it in pseudo-dialectic, 'k? Otherwise let's just all quit this bullshit and go make real money selling cigarettes to kids ...

Gaming on breaks doesn't hurt productivity. (1)

Restil (31903) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994332)

It's gaming when you should be working that hurts productivity. Of course, if you weren't being particularly productive before you started gaming, it might not make much difference.


One word.... (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994340)


We had our share of worktime gaming going on... (2, Interesting)

SmirkingRevenge (633503) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994345)

I personally found that the game playing helped the day along and provided a good break to long coding sessions (though I vastly prefered my former employers multiple foosball tables), especially when being blocked on waiting for another resource/bit of code/database stuff to be wrapped up by a teammate.

Unfortunately, management didn't see it that way and put a big kabosh on the whole thing. So now I just troll slashdot instead!

We're a gaming company (gambling) too, you'd think they'd be more forgiving...oh well.

Productivity and time wasting (2, Insightful)

ghunza (669642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994347)

I think there is a lot guilt associated with work time and productivity. Let's face it, you can goof of all you like so long as you at least 'look' like you are doing work. Part of this is the, "we are all in it together attitude". It kind of sucks if you have a deadline to meet and everyone around is having a good old fashioned frag fest.

Likewise, the last thing most bosses want is to be seen with an unproductive team. So even if you are just posting to Slashdot, it appears much more acceptable. Hell I get jumpy when a website has too many pictures on it! (And lets not even talk about the celebrity photos on imdb.)

Also there is that dangerous line where work is made to feel like home and you just end up hanging around work all the time, being neither really productive or having much of a life.

How times have changed since the bubble eh? Gone are the days of playing Tony Hawk on the playstation at work... hell we don't even have a stero at work, much less a playstation!

Abuse potential too high (4, Interesting)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994350)

This is akin to saying that if workers take cocaine to pep them up during the day, it's just like a cup of coffee. This is just asking to be abused. Sure, when was the last time you *only* played 30 minutes of Everquest. Gamecube at my desk? Well, gee, I guess five more minutes of Zelda wouldn't hurt. Ignore that I said that twice already.

That's not even touching the problem of support. Now I've got to open holes in the firewall so the good strong employee can play Star Wars Galaxies. Oops, looks like Doom 3 just hosed up the graphic drivers on everyone's laptop again. If having Solitaire and Minesweeper on every computer weren't bad enough...

Gaming can be good, yes. (3, Interesting)

MsWillow (17812) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994357)

Many moons ago, when I was still able to work, every morning at work I'd run through a game of Freecell, while the others were staggering blindly about groping for coffee. For me, Freecell was like doing mental gymnastics, a great way to warm up my mind and get it ready for the day's onslaught of subtle bugs that were my duty to track down and eliminate.

However, my PHB saw it as "just" playing games (despite my winning streak of nearly 20 games), and I was told to stop it. My productivity dropped, though it was still better than the rest of the group.

Nothing I could say would change his mind. His decree was final. :(

The company was bought out by a smaller competitor, in large part because it was not able to turn out a bug-free product on time and under budget. However, they *were* able to ensure that their best debugger was not "wasting" ten minutes a day playing games.

Lucky... (4, Informative)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994363)

We have foosball, one of those bar-room basketball games, and a pool table. While they are for clients we are allowed to use them when there are no clients wanting to play (which is usually). Of course you're not supposed to play all day, and if your supervisor happens to walk by when he knows you've got work, then you'll get in trouble.

I just got done losing in a work sponsored pool tournament, and no, I don't work for some start-up internet company that's about to go under.

In my specific department we were given a PS2 by a client for research into doing an advertisement for their game, and we still have it hooked up, and the guys bring in games from home for an occasional break.

No games on company computers, though, and I believe the reasons are valid - we have clients that walk through our work areas and it just doesn't look professional when we are on their time, new equipment is technically only a tax write-off if you don't use them for anything else, and they don't want you to disturb others in your work areas.

first post! (2, Funny)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994373)

FP! Sorry, I would have gotten around to it sooner, but I got caught up in a wicked game of quake.

Depends on the person (3, Interesting)

hether (101201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994378)

I think this says it all.

There's huge variation in individual productivity both within and across jobs. Some people can put in very little tangible effort, yet end up producing a tremendous amount of quality output, while others work their tails off all day and produce very little. For this second group, computer gaming poses the greatest threat to continued productivity.

My take on this is that since not every person who plays games can be as productive as the company expects, bosses choose to ban game playing for everyone. Little do they know that most people need to take breaks during the day so they don't get burned out. I don't think gameplaying automatically indicates you're not productive. On the contrary, if I have time to play games it's because my works all done.

Some companies know. (4, Interesting)

sunilonline (609351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994381)

Back when Informix wasn't part of IBM, their Portland building had a "lego station" on every one of their floors. This was a small enclave near the kitchen with a huge mindstorms kit and about 15 board games. Everytime you went in there, there would be this huge lego creation that was absolutely amazing!

What he's really trying to say... (5, Insightful)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994397)

For those of you who actually RTFA, those who take breaks doing what they want to do during those breaks will be more prepared to tackle the chores in front of them back in "the real world." To which I agree. If I were able to play a little Civ3 here and there throughout the workday, I'd be a much happier camper than how it is now, where I go and BS with my coworkers (who, although I really like 'em, they're not as fun all the time as a non-emotional computer game).

Of course the obvious ability to abuse such a system exists, but when it is encouraged as a stress reliever for little breaks here and there, rather than discouraged completely, it becomes a VERY USEFUL "tool" in the workplace. IMHO, anyways...

Games at work... (5, Funny)

actor_au (562694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994402)

I asked my boss and he said that putting quake 3 on the cash registers didn't sound like a good idea to him.

bah! (1)

Viper168 (650370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994403)

That last statement is completely absurd! Everyone knows a playstation2 would work best at the office :)

Reminds me of... (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994409)

All work and no play makes jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes jack a dull boy
All w...

Nice To See An Unbiased Expert's Opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994411)

For a change. I agree wholeheartedly. My 14 year-old cousin's productivity is enhanced greatly by his daily twelve hour marathon sessions of Unreal Tournament 2003. It really seems to give him the skills and focus needed to take out the trash and unload the dishwasher. With his dedicated gaming, I'm always astounded when his homework somehow does not get done.

Can't Reply, Busy Gaming (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994415)

"Does Gaming Reduce Productivity?"

I could answer this question, but first I have to play some Unreal Tournament ....

Give Me More (5, Funny)

jetkust (596906) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994422)

I'm still waiting for the "Sleeping Does Not Reduce Poductivity" and the "Avoiding Work At All Costs Does Not Reduce Productivity" articles to surface. Then we all will be free.

I certainly felt more productive in the golden age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994427)

I know I played a whole lot more in college than I do now (well games that is, now I have two kids so I play with dollies and throw balls and other types of games - but certainly not video games) - anyway, I was way more productive back then and now I find that I just don't have a few hours to toss down the tube...

Regardless, I would love it if I regularly had a few hours each day I could play (work doesn't count - I am not supposed to play on the job). Then again, I really wouldn't want to sacrifice the time with my wife and kids, so I guess it is a trade off.

Perhaps straining to catch every stray ball from my two year old will still help to improve my hand eye coordination.

Does it reduce productivity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994442)

FPS Games are awesome, especially Q3, Half Life, and Unreal Tournament. My roomies and I had some kickin' LAN parties all semester.

Despite the fact I got three C's, a D, and a D-, I'd have to disagree that gaming hurts productivity.

ok i'll bite... (1)

nih (411096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994460)

so now games have been added to the list of '123 of how to increase your profit margin'...

Bill Hicks got it right when he said something like:-



of course it will (1)

McAddress (673660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994478)

Allowing serious gaming in the workplace will stop people from playing solitare all day. If that were to happen, the company would be able to get rid of all of its now worthless windows machines, greatly enhancing productivity.

I used to like... (2, Funny)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994480) be a blacksmith, but after crafting fucken 1000's of daggers in Ultima Online I gave it up.. be a carpenter, but after crafting 1000's of fucken tables I gave it up... be a programmer, but after... oh, nevermind

Does gaming reduce productivity? (1)

.com b4 .storm (581701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994490)

I used to play NetHack on a Psion handheld in my math classes. Does gaming reduce productivity? Well, just take a look at my math scores and draw your own conclusions... :)

Also in the news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994497)

Cigarettes aren't addictive. tobacco industry
High sugar diets don't cause obesity/diabetes. sugar industry
Transfats aren't bad for you. margarine, processed foods industries
Tanning doesn't cause skin cancer. tanning industry

Please (0, Redundant)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994502)

If I were an employer, and one of my employees asked me for the opportunity to play games on my dime, arguing that he'd improve his productivity while on his lunch break, I'd generously offer to fire him so that he could spend the entire work day improving his productivity. Why should *I* be the one to limit just how productive this employee can become ?

What a brain-dead premise. Volleyball courts and gyms, I can see. Computer and video games ? Give me a break.

Missing poll option (1)

stardeep (66237) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994504)

"I'm a mindless slug, you insensitive clod!"

Read while at work? (5, Funny)

SeanAhern (25764) | more than 11 years ago | (#5994510)

There's something rather amusing about reading a Slashdot article about gaming increasing productivity while sitting at my desk at work, avoiding writing some annoying error-checking code...

Stress Relief (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5994530)

I think gaming is a healthy way to release stress. Instead of smoking cigarettes I would much rather my employees to break out a gameboy and play some golden sun for 15 minutes.
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