Earli¬≠er today Google decided to see how much it could influ¬≠ence the eco¬≠nomy and pro¬≠ductiv¬≠ity of first and second world nations by unleash¬≠ing a vir¬≠al online attack against Inter¬≠net-con¬≠nec¬≠ted office work¬≠ers world wide. Ostens¬≠ibly pro¬≠moted as a 30 year anniversary of a clas¬≠sic video game, Google is, in real¬≠ity, bring¬≠ing work¬≠place activ¬≠ity to a crawl.

In Canada, on the Fri¬≠day before a nation¬≠al hol¬≠i¬≠day long week¬≠end, the impact was real¬≠ized when inno¬≠cent office min¬≠ions using Google‚Äôs web¬≠site to search for inform¬≠a¬≠tion from the pre¬≠vi¬≠ously-trust-worthy search engine, were instead clev¬≠erly diver¬≠ted  by an insi¬≠di¬≠ous inter¬≠act¬≠ive anim¬≠a¬≠tion based on the ‚Äô80s arcade-game clas¬≠sic Pac Man.

Accord­ing to a report by the Toronto Star:

Cre¬≠ated to cel¬≠eb¬≠rate the 30th anniversary of the cre¬≠ation of the video game icon, the inter¬≠act¬≠ive doodle actu¬≠ally fea¬≠tures all 256 levels from the ori¬≠gin¬≠al mon¬≠ster game hit.

Just how much pro¬≠ductiv¬≠ity will be lost by employ¬≠ers whose work¬≠ers will get way¬≠laid by the new dis¬≠trac¬≠tion on its homepage while doing a search? Wendy Roze¬≠luk, a Google Canada spokes¬≠per¬≠son laughed and respon¬≠ded: ‚ÄúI have no idea.‚ÄĚ

At work­places, uni­ver­sit­ies, cube-farms, and com­puter sci­ence labs around the world, the Pac Man theme could be heard any­time someone tried to look some­thing up using the pop­u­lar search engine.

‚ÄúThis is get¬≠ting annoy¬≠ing‚Ķ‚ÄĚ said one user, declin¬≠ing to give her name for fear of retribution.

But it looks like a reprieve from the Pac Man theme is close at hand. Google will remove the Pac Man Doodle mid-day on Sunday. Until then, per¬≠haps keep the sound turned down on your sys¬≠tem when ‚Äėsearch¬≠ing‚Äô.