Monday, November 10, 2003

Computer gaming at work may boost personal productivity

In today's Computimes pullout of the New Straits Times
[with my own ramblings in brackets]
Computer gaming at work
FirstByte by Ahmad Kushairi (

Most companies do not encourage their staff to indulge in computer games during office hours because they feel that it's a sheer waste of time and do not contribute much to productivity. As such, computer games are normally played during breaks, or when the boss is not looking.

[ Most companies ah? So that means some companies do encourage it then.. oh wait.. that must be companies related to the gaming industry. For the rest of us, then, of course only played when the boss is not looking, gila what to play when boss is at your back. Of course, there's always another window with work-related stuff at the background, to switch to pronto in case da boss suddenly *poof!* materializes ]

But a recent University of Utrecht study seems to prove otherwise. The study, which involved 60 employees in a Dutch insurance firm, revealed that those who played computer games in the office felt better about their job. The results suggest that instead of taking playing computer games at work as being a waste of time, it might help boost personal productivity.

[ Insurance company? Why an insurance company? Hmm.. maybe it's the nearest to the uni. Or maybe their staff already play computer games most of the time as it is. Can an insurance company office portrays the office-working community as a whole? Anyway, see, boss, see? When you caught me downloading that flash game, I wasn't wasting time, I was downloading a personal productivity boosting program! ]

According to the study, a round of Solitaire, for example, could be used as a strategy to enlighten the day and help people work more effectively because it gives their brains a break from complex work tasks.

[ I told ya. Which is why I need to play at least a half hour of Solitaire, Minesweeper, Lingo and Pacman before I can resume doing that complex work task effectively. Oh, and at least another game of Hangman too. ]

That sounds like a good management piece, but I'm not sure whether the bosses would be convinced. The general feeling is that discouraging computer gaming in the office will do more good than harm.

[ Hmm... this paragraph should be left out while referring the article to da boss. ]

While this could be true, adopting too strict a control over feel-good activities in the office such as playing computer games may result in a rather dull work environment. So what's your take?

[ Well, boss, we certainly wouldn't want our work environment to be a rather dull one now, would we? ]

So excuse me while I go indulge myself in another 'personal productivity boosting' program.

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