World’s workforce suffers huge productivity loss due to Google

Earli­er today Google decided to see how much it could influ­ence the eco­nomy and pro­ductiv­ity of first and second world nations by unleash­ing a vir­al online attack against Inter­net-con­nec­ted office work­ers world wide. Ostens­ibly pro­moted as a 30 year anniversary of a clas­sic video game, Google is, in real­ity, bring­ing work­place activ­ity to a crawl.

In Canada, on the Fri­day before a nation­al hol­i­day long week­end, the impact was real­ized when inno­cent office min­ions using Google’s web­site to search for inform­a­tion from the pre­vi­ously-trust-worthy search engine, were instead clev­erly diver­ted  by an insi­di­ous inter­act­ive anim­a­tion based on the ’80s arcade-game clas­sic Pac Man.

Accord­ing to a report by the Toronto Star:

Cre­ated to cel­eb­rate the 30th anniversary of the cre­ation of the video game icon, the inter­act­ive doodle actu­ally fea­tures all 256 levels from the ori­gin­al mon­ster game hit.

Just how much pro­ductiv­ity will be lost by employ­ers whose work­ers will get way­laid by the new dis­trac­tion on its homepage while doing a search? Wendy Roze­luk, a Google Canada spokes­per­son laughed and respon­ded: “I have no idea.”

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.

This is get­ting annoy­ing…” said one user, declin­ing 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, per­haps keep the sound turned down on your sys­tem when ‘search­ing’.

Published by Brad Grier geek.hack