Here's an idea for a Christmas present  for the hard-pressed IT manager: Intel's new game IT Manager III.

Yes, after a hard day firefighting: restoring 17 passwords that people had forgotten, crawling under three desks to locate a rogue cable, restoring a server that had gone down, fixing five laptops that had seized up, fielding calls from 11 computer salespeople and cleaning up a virus that had affected the accounts department, there's nothing a manager would like to do more at the evening or weekend than get on a computer game to do it all again.

Intel has an idealistic view of the process: "The aim of the game is for players to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a fictitious company by applying special powers to a fleet of PCs, laptops and servers. At the same time, players must keep on top of a never-ending stream of high-tech hiccups that threaten their business’s bottom line. Successful players will find their IT department and company both expand, leading to even greater challenges."

It's true that effective IT will improve a company's effectiveness and profitability but this scenario sounds a long way removed from an IT manager's real workload. Wait until the game has to deal with one of the salespeople sending a video clip of Thierry Henry's handball to all 479 people in the workplace and handle the the complaints about the network being slow and then it will really be getting somewhere.