In response to "WebGame 2.0" from The Escapist Forum: I've been engaging in this exact behavior for the extent of the W2.0 timeframe, and didn't make the insight.
In response to "Inside Job: How Much Work and How Much Play?" from The Escapist Forum: I am completely against restricting internet access at the workplace. Myself, I'm working in a role where internet access is a must and I'm expected to stay up to date with what's going on in the web.
But even apart from that, I just can't stay productive if I can't have my dosage of socializing. I agree that it can get out of hand, but my productivity is not harmed if I keep my Gmail open, reading maybe half a dozen personal emails a day and replying to one or two. I check Facebook when I need an actual break. I usually turn up to work ahead of schedule to have time to go through my RSS feeds. I'm not trying to hide these activities; it's just how I work. As long as I get my work done, I can't see what's the problem.
It's a tricky issue to be sure.
Breaks are an absolute necessity, but when your employees start taking their break a few minutes early, ending the same break a good ten minutes late, and then going online immediately afterwards and updating their blog with some hot gossip they heard from Ben while they took their break....
It's an issue of trust, and abuse of said trust, that gets management to start thinking of restricting the group, rather than the individual, so that work gets done when work should be getting done, mostly likely because it's easier and quicker to apply law to the group than it is to the individual, lest some other individual is doing the exact thing same thing they're stopping someone else from doing, but they don't notice since they're too busy with the one individual, and now I've used individual one, no, two too many times.
Point is, when someone breaks the bond of trust, it's considered easier and more effective to enforce the law with the group as a whole so the experience won't be repeated.
In response to "Alpha Centauri" from The Escapist Forum: Alpha Centauri is one of the games I still play and love, more than six years after I first installed it. And I believe it is better, in a number of ways, than all Civ titles, amybe save the last Civ IV with all its expansions and complements. But why, I wondered...
And the answer is emotional involvment. The story, the quotes, the backwriting, the Voice, the setting are made to draw you in and make you lay just one more turn...