The idea that gaming is generally forbidden at work is not a new concept to most of us; though more than a few of us have--or at least have tried to--slip in a round of solitaire or Tetris every once in a while. But for 19 bureaucrats in China, gaming managed to get them quite possibly fired.
In the province of Xinjiang, 19 bureaucrats with the Industrial Park Regulatory Department of Manas county had taken up a game that was uniquely Chinese, Three Kingdoms Killers Online. Ten of them were township-level supervisors, while four of them were deputy department heads, and the remaining five were of undetermined rank.
The illicit gaming was caught when elements of the local government's disciplinary arm noticed that productivity was starting to crater in both the IPRD as well as in 14 other departments. An investigation kicked up and the bureaucrats in question were caught with their hands on the controllers and a whole lot of explaining to do.
No one's sure, as yet, just what the punishment for said bureaucrats would turn out to be, if there would be anything beyond the very possible firing.
It's a bizarre piece of news to be sure, but gaming at work has seldom been an encouraged activity. It's still interesting that this one game had such an effect on the Chinese government; granted it was just a very small part of the Chinese government, but a part nonetheless. Since the Rise of the Three Kingdoms series has always had at least a tangential connection to Chinese history, it's easy to see where the draw would have been for the bureaucrats, who were likely steeped in Chinese patriotism from their very births. But considering that gaming has gone on at workplaces pretty much since there were networks at work--a large chunk of the plot of the movie "Stay Alive" actually revolves around gamers at work, and the movie "Grandma's Boy
" is actually about a game tester who's trying to move up the ranks into programming--it's surprisingly clear that gaming is becoming a larger part of our lives than may have been previously expected.
Mobile gaming is taking advantage of this, offering up short, sharp experiences for gamers to "slip in a quick game" of something, from Angry Birds
to Words With Friends
. Some have questioned the inherent value of the console as being almost too big a gaming experience, especially in the face of an increasingly busy and increasingly productive populace needing quick bursts of gaming, something a console generally can't provide.
Still, the Chinese bureaucrat issue only makes it clearer that gaming is making inroads everywhere, and most everybody, no matter their country of origin or specific beliefs, likes a little bit of fun every now and then.