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facebox3Gaming is on pace to become a $68 billion dollar industry by 2012, but it needs you, middle-aged mothers, environmental activists and North Slope scientists, to get there. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 already offers streaming video on demand,  providing movies, documentaries and BBC series to members. Now customers can update their status and tweet about it, too.

Microsoft is the first of the three big video game console makers going social by letting Xbox LIVE Gold members log onto their Twitter and Facebook pages right from their television screen. See which of your friends has a face for television. Visit Thailand and China along with the jet-setters from your community. Or follow the latest Sarah Palin smack-down in the comment section.

But that’s about all it’s good for.

Unless your friends are also Xbox LIVE Gold members, you can’t see anything on their pages except photos. And it’s notoriously difficult to post using the analog controller, which is your only option unless you plug in a USB keyboard or some other typing accessory. Someday, we’ll all be plugged into one machine for everything: communication, entertainment, work and social updating. But until that day, I’ll leave my Facebooking for the PC.


And yes Amy, you are.

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