Okay, you gamers, back to work

By now, you have probably played, or at least heard of, Pocket Geek, a Flash-based game created by Fuel Industries and the QNX marketing team. The game remains online, but if you were hoping to post a winning score, forget it: The contest portion of the game has come to a close and the winners are collecting their swag.

I’m no gamer (the only videogame I ever mastered was Wave Race 64), so I’m always amazed at how videogames can hold people’s attention. Pocket Geek is no exception. According to the game logs, more than 57,000 unique visitors played the game over the course of 5 months. When you factor in the average playing time, those visitors spent a whopping total of 457,000 minutes on the Pocket Geek site, give or take a few minutes. And that doesn’t begin to count the time spent by folks who played Pocket Geek multiple times.

Call me an old fart, but whenever I see someone playing a videogame, I wonder if they would be better off playing ball, walking their dog, hugging their spouse, learning guitar, or mowing an old person’s lawn. On the other hand, the folks who played Pocket Geek:
  • exercised their brains by answering the game’s skill-testing questions

  • exercised their brains even more by trying to devise a winning strategy

  • learned that being a successful project manager isn’t as easy at it looks
In the end, I’m glad they played Pocket Geek, though my reasons are undeniably selfish. For years now, my job has been to explain QNX to people, and, often, the conversation has to start with the basics — simply blurting out that you make an embedded operating system is a guaranteed, sure-fire way to elicit a blank stare. But now, thanks to the Pocket Geek site, which contains lots of QNX info, there are thousands of people who need a little less explanation. What’s to complain about?

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