Get In On the Games

Few areas of digital entertainment have grown up faster than video games. If you haven’t taken a look at today’s home game consoles—the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3—they’re way more than kids’ play. Besides the expanded library of games that cater to all age ranges of both men and women (and not just your boyfriend and his buddies), the actual devices do a whole lot more than just play games. So even if you’re not much of a player, here are three things you can do with the latest game systems:

1) Connect with friends online. All three systems have games that go beyond the living room and let you virtually hang out with friends and family across the world. It’s one thing to talk to a friend on the phone, but another entirely to hear her voice while playing a game of UNO on Xbox Live, building worlds together in LittleBigPlanet on PS3 or teaming up to tend your garden in Animal Crossing Wii. We all have people we can’t see in person as much as we’d like—online games help us reconnect and add an extra layer of interactivity beyond their voices.

2) Keep up with your social networking. The Wii and the PlayStation 3 both come with Web browsers, which let you check your Facebook or Twitter accounts from the comfort of your couch. The Xbox 360 goes a step further by providing subscribers to its online Xbox Live Gold service with custom Facebook and Twitter interfaces designed specifically for your TV.

3) Rock a party. Since they’re already connected to your TV and stereo, make these game systems the cornerstone of your next house party! With an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, play CDs and create custom music playlists, or make your DVDs look gorgeous on HDTVs. Or bust out the Wii remotes and Balance Board for the hilarious party games in Wii Fit Plus or New Super Mario Bros. Wii. And all three systems play the hottest music games—like the classic rock legacy of The Beatles: Rock Band, which lets you play guitar, bass and drums as well as sing melody and harmony with up to three singers at once! Or choose from the hundreds of other songs available from Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero 5. It’s the next evolution of karaoke, and it’s sure to pull even the quietest of wallflowers up off the couch!