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Liz Lam
Liz Lam

Posted on

Is it appropriate to play video games at work?

I recently created my first Twitter poll to see what people thought.

poll

I personally don't play video games but don't have a problem with people who do at work (assuming they are getting their work done). I know people who think it's completely inappropriate and believes it gives a poor perception of the gamer.

What do you think?

Top comments (13)

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babrown93 profile image
Bill

All I know is that my gut says maybe...

Seriously, I think to play games at work then should have at least be on target with your work. I wouldn't say doing the bear minimum and playing games is appropriate. But if you work hard and get more than you need done then totally go for it.

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grepliz profile image
Liz Lam Author

Yes, I think that is the overarching consensus. If you get your work done, then it's ok. But there is always more work to be done...

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bconfortin profile image
Bruno Goerck Confortin

I am an employee.

I had colleagues that watched Youtube videos all day long and took 1 week to do something it would take me 3 hours.

I also had colleagues that watched Netflix on the second monitor while programming, but those guys delivered.

I have to say that it bothers me deeply when people do something that is not work related and that has a direct impact in my work, like the first case. The second one didn't bother me at all. I stand with the same opinion when it comes to videogames.

If you deliver, go for it, it won't bother me as an employee.

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grepliz profile image
Liz Lam Author

I can see why that would be annoying. Especially if the person is on your team. I tend to think watching movies on a second monitor is kind of like listening to music.

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rjmoise profile image
Ryan

I think it depends on a few things, mostly timing, how it affects their work and the nature of the game.

Timing - I mean this both in terms of when during the day they play and how long the game takes to play out the session. I have peers that play LoL (30+50 min sessions) but only on lunch, so I don't see a problem at all with it. I will play a short 5 minute session of some phone game throughout day to give my brain a rest before jumping back into it. Our work performance is not negatively effected by it so what's the harm?

Work - At the end of the day you go to work to do just that, work. It's normal to take breaks and get distracted here and there, as long as you are delivering it shouldn't be much of an issue. If the focus of your day swings from work to gaming then you have an issue.

Games - I think the nature of the game makes a difference as well. Are you playing a light hearted game that is interesting to others or easy for others to play as well? I regularly bring my Switch to work and play coop games with coworkers on lunch because its a great light hearted activity. If the game is darker in nature (killing games etc) then it may be frowned upon more in the eyes of a lot of people as they don't appeal to a large amount of them.

If you're gaming on a break or to chill for a few minutes between projects I don't see how it's different from taking a walk or watching something mindless on YouTube. When it starts affecting your work and those around you negatively, then you have an issue.

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grepliz profile image
Liz Lam Author

All totally great points. One of the things I've heard complaints about is not wanting to see violent first person shooter games. Here in the SF Bay Area, it's becoming increasingly more popular to have open office space in oppose to traditional cubes. So everything you do is much more public. I suspect that the office setup is also a factor.

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eljayadobe profile image
Eljay-Adobe

I'd never play games during work hours. (Although some may consider Planning Poker to be a bit of a game...)
I worked at a company where one day a week, we'd play a game after hours. It was great team building.
I worked at another company where someone was playing a game after hours, and was summarily fired for it on the spot.

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grepliz profile image
Liz Lam Author

It's interesting how you bring up team building. It seems far more acceptable to play ping pong or foosball with your coworkers (during the work day). It's probably because that is seen as an informal team building activity.

 
babrown93 profile image
Bill

Well yes, easy for me. We are all different.

I was just watching another video, whilst working on a complex module in an enterprise web platform, of which I have to do the front end and back end. I am fully responsible for this module that had many many inputs, features etc.

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lmolivera profile image
Lucas Olivera

I used to think that they weren't paying me to get distracted. But as I was getting little tasks to do, I think it is not wrong if you get things done.

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babrown93 profile image
Bill

How are you so sure? At present I'm doing some DB design, making modifications to one desktop application, one web application, watching a video on YouTube, and replying to your comment.

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