Xbox One gamers gripped by “zombie flu”

Microsoft has you covered if you’re planning to bunk off to play with the Xbox One

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Off duty: Welcome to our regular series, which we hope will serve as a reward for you after a busy week in IT. It's here to provide some information and/or a review on something to entertain or wow you away from work. This time around we're looking at the Xbox One launch.

Microsoft has prepared a tongue-in-cheek "sick note" that Xbox One owners can email directly to their boss to help explain any unexpected absenses from work now its next-generation console has gone on sale.

In the note, self-professed entertainment therapy specialist M Nelson MD advises employers that Xbox One gamers cannot fulfil their work commitments due to a case of "zombie flu". He prescribes a dose of the Xbox One and suggests a recovery time of between one and three days.

Pulling a sickie to get some quality time with a new console is not as uncommon as you'd imagine. Employers have been bracing themselves for "ill" employees, according to money saving website

The site surveyed 400 gamers, and 64 per cent admitted they would consider throwing a sickie if they could get their hands on a new console on launch day. The top 10 excuses include:

1.    Upset tummy  (32 per cent)                                                

2.    Heavy cold/Flu  (19 per cent)                                            

3.    Plumbing emergency (12 per cent)                                       

4.    Women's health issue (9 per cent)                                     

5.    Sick partner or relative (8 per cent)                                   

6.    Diarrhoea  (7 per cent)                                                      

7.    Food poisoning/vomiting (5 per cent)                                

8.    Lost house keys  (4 per cent)                                             

9.    Dead pet (3 per cent)                                                       

10.  Car won't start (1 per cent)                                                

The Xbox One launched in 13 countries including the UK at midnight and is expected to be one of the biggest selling Christmas presents this year. 

However, it faces tough competition from the Sony's PlayStation 4, which been flying off the shelves in the US and will be released on this side of the pond on 29 November.

At IT Pro we'd never consider faking illness to play on the Xbox. The PlayStation 4 on the other hand...

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