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Question For Raz0red...
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Chris,

I've noticed a couple of times during the podcasts (this latest one included), you mentioned that you "have this arcade machine at work" or "we were playing that arcade game at the office..."

Just what kind of office do you work in where you can game all day? I've gotta get my resume' ready!

I spend my entire day configuring Cisco routers and maintaining a wide area network. Sometimes I don't even have time for lunch!

'Why am I such a misfit...'
--SjN



Last edited by iamsjn on Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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Haha! Great question. I'll let Chris answer that, though. Very Happy

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Well.... Err... Uhh...

Everyone on the podcast works at software companies as software engineers. The reason we can game, etc. at work is that we often have to work more hours than a typical 9-5 job (if those even exist anymore), and often on weekends during crunch periods (which I happen to be in right now). So, the arcade games, etc. provides an escape or maybe an incentive to hang around work.

I really don't play that much at work, especially when we have a deadline coming up. If I game at all it is a quick diversion when I need an escape for like 5 minutes to get my head around a problem or something.

We recently built a MAME machine at work. I had an extra cabinet laying around at Dave's house, so Dave hauled it to work, we hooked up a PC to it, using many Ultimarc components to wire it to the cabinet. Having a game like that is ideal, because most of the games are real quick plays. So, I might get frustrated and walk in there for 5 minutes to get owned at Defender, then go back and have a different perspective on the problem, etc.

We also have a 360 at work, but to be honest it is never played. The games just take too long to play, so it isn't really a good fit for a work type environment. At my old place of employment we used to have an Xbox that we would play Halo and Halo 2 on now and then. But, from what I have heard, that company ripped out that whole thing because they wanted to appear more corporate. One of the reasons I left that company.... Very Happy The company I am at now fully supports it. In fact, a lot of time the head of engineering and marketing folk get together for a quick game or two.

For me personally, it is things like allowing engineers, managers, etc. to play arcade games that brings unity to a team. You can hammer on code all day long, sit in meetings, etc. But, when you can have a quick game or two together it seems to bring people together in a different way. To be honest, since we put in the MAME box, it seems like communication has been better, people are starting to be more productive, etc. Maybe it is just me, but I think there might be some kind of connection between the two.

I can honestly say that I doubt there would be a Podcast if it weren't for the fact that at my old employer had that Xbox. That is really where Woody, Tom, and I connected. We would get together to play Halo, etc. I think even then it helped us to be more productive as a team. Even when we were playing Halo sometimes we would discuss things that needed to be done on the project, etc.

So, does anyone else work in an environment that allows for periodic gaming? If so, do you think it ultimately helps the company? If not, do you think it would help your company?

--Raz.



Last edited by raz0red on Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Wow Raz... I'm truly envious. I wish more companies would develop that mindset. I come from a very "IBM 'esque" enviroment. The most lax I've ever seen upper management is to finally allow us to go business casual on Fridays. It's rediculous. Something like a simple arcade would make weeks like last week so much nicer. I easily clocked 60+ hours last week.

Implementing Arcades into corporate environments is actually a fantastic idea. Take a dying national pastime and give it a rebirth! Arcade style games were meant to provide you a quick blast of entertainment at the expence of 25 cents. PERFECT for those quick diversions that are oh-so-precious during the work day.

Heck, it beats taking the 5 minute cigarette break that I gave up over a year ago!!

If only more corporations would embrace this idea. Imagine, Arcades in all their splendor... Neon, florescent paint & carpeting gracing some backroom of a company. I don't know about you, but I'd be working a few hours on the weekends!!

One last thing- If you ever run into that "old employer" that had the Xbox, give him a big fat kiss courtesy of SjN... In my opinion, you guys clearly have the BEST podcast on the Net. If that's all it took to bring you guys together and produce a show as good as yours, then that company was clearly on to something!

Thanks Chris, Tom & Woody for the GREAT times...

Well, time to go download the F.E.A.R demo for the 360. Talk to you guys later!

--SjN


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As a software engineer, I often have short periods of "downtime" that last 5-15 minutes. This is usually because of waiting for the code to build, waiting for someone else to check code in, etc. During times like this some people will go get a coffee, others will go smoke a cigarette, answer email, listen to music, talk to their co-workers, etc. In theory we could be perfectly productive if we used this time to do something like study other areas of the code or plan the next feature we're going to build. But realistically, I find that if I don't take a couple of short "mental breaks" per day my productivity goes down and I start to feel burned out.

As Chris says, 5-15 minutes isn't enough time to play an elaborate, involved game, but I can get out the Nintendo DS and play a simple game like New Super Mario Bros. or Metroid Prime Pinball. Because the DS has the sleep mode it is perfect to get out for a few minutes and then put away again.

And Chris is right that there probably would be no podcast if we hadn't played some Halo in the "game room" after work.

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i thought the same thing as sjn but i didnt bother posting it


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