Some online games worthy of note, ones you can play for free, some that you can play with others online: Orisinal features a wide variety of flash games that are quick to load and easy to play. They're not your typical fare; I noticed that many have females as the top points-getters. Getting puppies to jump over balls that turn to cupcakes isn't your typical teen-boy fantasy.
Others mentioned are at games.aol.com, where word games are offered, and zone.msn.com, where you can play the newest tetris-like games. Yahoo offers games and chat at games.yahoo.com, and www.realarcade.com offers more as well. One Yahoo game, Diner Dash, gives you a chance to show your stuff as a waitress. It's a mouse-clicking madhouse that helped me see why my short stint as a waiter in a Chinese restaurant was all I wanted.
Now you can also play many of them on your cell phone. I guess I'd rather see someone staring at their cell phone mashing buttons than I would listen to them argue with a spouse about whether to buy a pound of pork or a half pound.
These games are featured in a New York Times article, "Just for Fun, Casual Games Thrive Online."