Fans of the classic Pac-Man video game were thrilled when Google embedded its own version of the game on its home page last week. Maybe a little too thrilled.
The BBC reports that individuals have collectively spent five million hours playing the game, which Google posted in honor of its 30-year anniversary. The figure comes from a study conducted by a software firm, Rescue Time, that “makes time-tracking software that keeps an eye on what workers do and where they go online.” Kinda creepy, no?
The firm reported that people spent an average of 36 seconds longer (per search) on the Google home page than they normally would and, with 504 million users visiting the site conducting about 22 searches a day, you have a total of 4.8 million hours spent on the search engine. The figures get even more mind-boggling when represented monetarily. Assuming an individual is making $25 an hour (Which, let’s be real here, is probably a pretty big assumption.), the firm estimated that 120 million productivity dollars were lost.
Google has now decided to keep the game on their site permanently, but, for productivity’s sake perhaps, it is no longer on the home page.