8 Ways to Play Games at Work


The cat's out of the bag -- we all try to sneak in a few minutes of Ice Breakers or Bubble Town in the middle of the work day. Here are eight tips to help you get away with it!

8. Use Alt Tab
Holding down the 'Alt' key and hitting 'Tab' is a handy built-in feature in Windows that allows you to switch between windows quickly. Hear your boss coming? Hit alt-tab to switch the focus on your screen from that open Solitaire window and hide it behind your weekly status report, email screen or word document.

7. Virtual desktop
Virtual desktop software gives you more room to work on your computer, like having a second monitor on your desk. In this case, this means you can run a game like Mystery Case Files on one 'virtual desktop' while running actual work-related programs on another. Most software will allow you to quickly switch back-and-forth between screens.

6. Use Private Browsing
Worried that your boss will be able to look up which websites you've been visiting? The URL games.com is a pretty clear giveaway of what's on the site ;) You can prevent your web browser from tracking which sites you visit by turning on private browsing modes. In Firefox, go to the Tools dropdown menu and select 'Private Browsing.' You can do the same in Safari's main menu. IE7 users will need to download a free plugin called Browzar -- IE8 will have this feature built-in.

5. The Boss Button
If you're really paranoid about your boss looking over your shoulder, you can purchase the Stealth Switch, a foot pedal that you can discreetly press down on to hide that Texas Hold'em game.

4. Work at home
Not all of us have the luxury of working from home, but for those that do, this is probably the easiest way to avoid being caught playing Bloons. Since there's no one else around to see or hear you play, you won't have to worry about turning up the sound, either!

3. On your phone
Even if you don't have a Blackberry or iPhone, chances are your phone is compatible with mobile games, and since you carry your cell everywhere, it can be the perfect way to take a quick break and get some gaming in. They can be as simple as a game like Breakout to a more full-featured game like Peggle -- check with your mobile service provider for more details on which games are available for your phone.

2. Show this article to your boss!
Let's face it - sometimes it's just better to come clean with your boss. If that's so, you should show him this article on why workers should be able to play online. The study shows that being able to take office breaks increases productivity among employees.

1. Work at Games.com
Okay, so this probably isn't your most realistic option, but working at Games.com (or any number of other great online game sites) is the number one way to play games at work -- in fact, we're required to! Maybe that's why we love our jobs so much...