In the dot-com bubble we had all of this kind of stuff. Happy hours, lunches, foosball tournaments, dance parties, massages, you name it. It was all part of creating a culture wherein work was so “fun” that you’d be an idiot to think about going home, seeing your outside friends, or trying to have evenings and weekends to yourself. Anyone over about 35 who was trying to maintain work/life balance was weird. Anyone who left at 5 or even 6 or 7 PM wasn’t a team player. We worked until all hours of the night, all of us, even people for whom the expectation to be there didn’t make any sense (why in the world should the receptionist feel pressured to stay at her desk until 11 at night just because the art department’s still here? The business day ended 6 hours ago. No one’s calling). We worked hard, but what it took to keep us working that hard was a LOT of money out the door on stuff like this. Then the layoffs came. Then most of the companies shut their doors. The difference between then and now seems to me that back then we hadn’t figured out how to turn a profit, and now these companies are doing well for themselves (although I guarantee each of these companies has dozens of imitator startups that are going under). What hasn’t changed is the culture of overwork under the guise of young, hip, exciting workplace “perks.” They’re designed to make the workplace your only life.