Given members' compulsive desire to collect online pals like living Pokemon, you could argue that social networks such as MySpace, Bebo and Hi5 are one big game unto themselves. But thanks to heavyweights like Electronic Arts and Wizards of the Coast, they're also rapidly becoming home to high-quality, innovative and multiplayer digital diversions.
A far cry from last year's lo-fi addictions like Zombies and WereWolves, today's titles increasingly offer 3D graphics, head-to-head action and interactive heroes. Better yet, of the thousands now available, the vast majority are completely free to install, play and enjoy right from your Web browser. Making friends and antagonizing people is easy too, with even classic distractions like Texas HoldEm Poker sporting 5,793,824 monthly users alone.
The most popular and technically advanced platform with 120 million members, 52,000-plus programs to choose from and 140 new applications added daily, Facebook remains the gamer's destination of choice. Here are five favorite ways to decimate productivity, between status updates and what little remains of your actual real-world life.
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