Confirmed: Millions of hours lost due to Pac Man

It looks like someone tired of playing Pac Man and decided to try and calculate how many hours of lost time could be attributed to that ’80s arcade classic reimagined by Google:

This weekend, we took a hard look at Pac-Man D-Day and compared it with previous Fridays (before and After Google’s recent redesign) and found some noticeable differences. We took a random subset of our users (about 11,000 people spending about 3 million seconds on Google that day) The average user spent 36 seconds MORE on Google.com on Friday.. Thankfully, Google tossed out the logo with pretty low “perceived affordance” – they put an “insert coin” button next to the search button, but I imagine most users missed that. In fact, I’d wager that 75% of the people who saw the logo had no idea that you could actually play it. Which the world should be thankful for.

The result — 4.82 million hours lost. Wait until Google does Galaxian!

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’.