Can’t You See I’m Busy, playing at work without feeling guilty

Can't You See I'm Busy

In the spirit of the “” of the late 1990s, the project “Can’t You See I’m Busy” (by Maarten Vrouwes, Friso Ludenhoff, Eric Holm and Vincent Ludenhoff) consists of various arcade games masked into generic office tools like word processing and spreadsheet software in order to hide the activities of the procrastinating cubicle worker. Games featured include “Breakdown”, a brick breaking arcade game that enables the player to destroy text word by word using a mockup of an open document in Microsoft Word. In contrast, “Leadership” uses a standard spreadsheet and a plotted graph where the player must navigate a spaceship between two line graphs and avoid crashing into the lines. As a precaution, the author has included a safety feature, where you can simply press the space bar and the game elements disappear from the document to hide your insubordination if your boss is approaching. In addition to its games, the site also provides a social critique of itself by calculating the amount of money that is wasted by people playing these games. From the site: “Time is money; even relaxation has its price! Based on an average yearly salary of 31,500 Euro, the calculator adds the game time of every visitor and totals the cost of collective gaming at to the world economy.” This announcement of user guilt in the cost these games have on the global economy is a testament to the fact that the world’s current recession might not only be caused by government ailments, but the daily office worker’s remorse.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen