The Tragic Cost of Google Pac-Man

Last Friday, Pac-Man turned 30 years old. To celebrate the anniversary, Google made their homepage a playable mini-version of the iconic arcade game. Last Friday, I found myself playing more Pac-Man than I had in the past year collectively. Was I alone? Of course not. But until today, the number of people playing Pac-Man, and it’s subsequent result on the decline of productivity amongst the workforce, had yet to be officially announced.

According to the folks over at The Time Rescue Blog, the average user spends, on average, approximately 4 seconds on the Google homepage. Last Friday though, that number increased by 36 seconds. To put a few figures in perspective..

- Google Pac-Man consumed 4,819,352 hours of time (beyond the 33.6m daily man hours of attention that Google Search gets in a given day)
- $120,483,800 is the dollar tally, If the average Google user has a COST of $25/hr (note that cost is 1.3 – 2.0 X pay rate).
- 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. Imagine what you could build with that army of man power.

Of course, there’s more than a grain of satire associated with all of this. In fact, studies show that personal productivity amongst employees actually increases when they are given social networking and personal surfing liberties. Regardless, it’s an interesting glimpse into the the ever-growing power of Google and their ability to create trends and cause instantaneous change.

For the full story, head over to The Time Rescue Blog.

  • Hafiz

    This was awesome! Love the fact that it was all done with javascript too… no flash was impressive.