Usually, installing games on your work computer is frowned upon. In some cases, it’s reason for an unplanned (and unpleasant) performance review, or it may even get you fired. Your work computer is for work, and work only.
Or is it..?
My job is solving complex problems. In other words: I get paid to think. To ponder. To chew on an idea. The finished product or working solution is just a tiny part of my job, even though it’s usually what I’m measured by.
I don’t get measured by the countless times I get stuck, by the time wasted on ideas that didn’t pan out, or by the agony of running in circles just to find out you made a wrong turn 2 hours ago. That too, however, is part of the process. We just tend to ignore it, because it doesn’t look very productive.
But neither does playing a round of Quake, right?
Yet, there are times I just get stuck. No way out, no way back. It’s times like these when I fire up a game like Quake. It has proved to be a great way to ‘reset the brain’, to focus on something completely different, just for a few minutes. In fact, it activates totally different parts of the brain.
Usually after a short ‘gaming-break’ I feel refreshed, and seem to be able to think more clearly. It also makes me more creative. If anything, the occasional ‘gaming-break’ helps me do my job better.
It sure beats staring at a whiteboard for hours..