The Top 6 Software Applications for Fun, Entertainment and Gaming

These computer and Internet things aren’t just for work, you know. We can (and should) have some fun with them. Ok, ok, so many of us are guilty of goofing off more than working sometimes. But nevertheless, it’s important to balance work with play, and with that in mind, we present a quick list of software applications (and one primarily hardware product) that you can have a lot of fun with.

Of course, all of these apps can be and are used for some serious business. Additionally, with the exception of 1 item, these are all free software downloads or services that are available for the leading operating systems today including Windows, Macs and Linux.

1. Facebook

Top of the list today is easily Facebook. Addictive to many, Facebook’s one-stop site for staying in touch with your friends, family and colleagues, is also home to thousands of applications itself. Those applications span the gamut from connecting with your friends, keeping track of birthdays, staying on top of your favorite tv shows and of course, games. Lots and lots of games.

2. Skype

A free (for basic services) VoIP-based video chat application, Skype rules the roost in this category and it’s one of the many ways in which we’re taking the future for granted, for the future is here. Sure, the video and/or audio quality isn’t always great, but think about this: you ‘Skype’ with your mom, and she knows what it is and expects you to video call her now!

3. Twitter

Twitter, the micro-blogging/status update service, has become the latest go-to location for entertainment. No longer do marketers or breaking news dominate the tweets. Actors and comedians now frequently use Twitter, and while it is a new challenge for everyone, some like Conan O’Brien for example are proving that they know how to make people laugh even with a 140 character limit.

4 and 5. Firefox and Chrome

Yes, Web browsers. What’s fun about them? Granted they don’t really have very many extensions/plugins to play games in the way that the Facebooks, iPhones, and Xboxes of the world, but where else do you really watch YouTube videos, re-runs of TV shows you missed on Hulu, or play Flash-based video games on any of thousands of websites? In your browser of course.

If you’re on a Mac, you can also use Safari to great effect, but remember that Firefox and Chrome both can be extended and tweaked via the thousands of extensions, apps and themes available, most for free.

6. TiVo (DVRs in General)

Not a primarily a software program that runs on your computer, but how much fun is having a digital video recorder (DVR) like a TiVo to record your favorite TV shows and movies and then watch them later? Don’t you now wish you could hit pause or go back 10 seconds in real life too? TiVo and others like Dish Network also include Web-based interfaces so you can program your boxes even if you’re not at home directly controlling the box with its remote control.

Ok, enough reading – go fire up your favorite app, relax and have some fun.