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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2009 Aug;12(4):461-5. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2009.0010.

Games at work: the recreational use of computer games during working hours.

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  • 1Hamburg Media School, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.


The present study investigated the recreational use of video and computer games in the workplace. In an online survey, 833 employed users of online casual games reported on their use of computer games during working hours. The data indicate that playing computer games in the workplace elicits substantial levels of recovery experience. Recovery experience associated with gameplay was the strongest predictor for the use of games in the workplace. Furthermore, individuals with higher levels of work-related fatigue reported stronger recovery experience during gameplay and showed a higher tendency to play games during working hours than did persons with lower levels of work strain. Additionally, the social situation at work was found to have a significant influence on the use of games. Persons receiving less social support from colleagues and supervisors played games at work more frequently than did individuals with higher levels of social support. Furthermore, job control was positively related to the use of games at work. In sum, the results of the present study illustrate that computer games have a significant recovery potential. Implications of these findings for research on personal computer use during work and for games research in general are discussed.

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