Google, Pac-Man and the 4.8 Million Hour Skive

25 May 2010

google-pacman-Did you nearly wet yourself when you saw Google's Pacman homepage? Did you shriek "OH MY DAYS! YOU CAN ACTUALLY PLAY THE THING! AARGH! IT'S AMAZING! THERE'S A TWO-PLAYER OPTION AS WELL!"?

You didn't? Well, many of us did and Google's playable 30th anniversary Pac-Man thing was responsible for a gigantic skive off work. A productivity firm has calculated the time spent playing Google's Pac-Man stands at more than 4.8 million hours.

RescueTime, makers of productivity tracking and optimization software, looked at the average time that 11,000 of their users spent pissing about on Google's pages on Friday and found it more than quadrupled. Apparently, a normal visit is around 11 seconds... throw a power pill at it and it is more likely to be closer to a minute.

The actual time given by the productivity trackers was 45 seconds per visit, which may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that Google got more than 500 million pageviews on Friday... yep... it all starts adding up to a tenuous, but impressive number.

Here are their crunched numbers:

• 4,819,352 hours of time lost. This is above the 33.6 million man hours of attention Google gets on a regular day.

• More than $120 million in lost productivity, assuming the cost of the average Google user is $25 an hour (that's pay plus benefits.)

• "For that same cost, you could hire all 19,835 google employees, from Larry and Sergey down to their janitors, and get 6 weeks of their time."

Wow. God help us all if they have a Jet Set Willy homepage. If you missed it because you live up a tree or something, then you can still play the PacMan Google thing here.



  • kfcws
    Only if you digitise it first.
  • Nobby
    I don't think it wasted that much more time though. People played it and therefore stayed on a google page. Normally people would have used google to find something else just as wasteful to do and navigated away from the google page.
  • James D.
    bitterwallet is dead
  • That t.
    I think this ammount of time gets wasted every Friday, it's just that RescueTime were able to measure the ammount as people were using Google more than usual.
  • That t.
    Fuck's up with my spelling today?
  • Hershel R.
    So Bitterwallet, now you're deleting my comment because it mentions that you're deleting other comments?
  • googlebod
    $25 an hour? Jeez, I'm obviously not paid enough to use google anymore. Back to Ask Jeeves then.
  • Mr G.
    The figures forgot to include the time RescueTime wasted fucking about with these bogus calculations and the time important people like me spent bitching about the time they have wasted.

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