No games for you!

DX-Ball screenshot courtesy of Softpedia There is an line of thinking, which quite a few companies follow, that you can’t have games on a company PC because “employees may play games all day”.(1)

I’m sure that the management teams who think these things up, have never heard of people taking breaks.  Or, in one decision I was involved in, have ever worked a graveyard shift.

When the clock ticks past 3:00am, your whole body just wants to shut down, and fall asleep.  Heck, if you’re lucky, all your systems are alarmed, and you might get that sleep.  If you’re not lucky, you need something to keep you awake, such a PC game.(2)

The most requested game I ever had to install was DX-Ball.(3)  Which was a “Breakout” type game.  When I was first asked to install it, I said to the user

“It’s demoware.”.

‘She’s right Dale, we can upgrade it to registered version once you have installed it’.

Once installed, the shift workers were very happy.  The shift workers even ran a competition to see who was the best player.

So, as far as PC game installation requests were concerned, I’d take a lenient view.  If the shift workers were busy with DX-Ball they’d be able to stay awake.  And more importantly to me, they were not looking for ‘new and improved’ ways to break the IT network.(4)


  1. as an aside, that’s a management issue, not an issue which should be solved by technology.
  2. indoor football and cricket is generally frowned upon, as the ball can hit a fire sprinkler, and then trigger a downpour.
  3. back when I was working the graveyard shift, the popular game was Hangman, on the IBM 3090 Mainframe.
  4. ‘new and improved ways to break the network’ included changing printer configurations, closing out the computerised shift database before the shift ended; and breaking the industrial controller units, which meant work on the production line stopped.