You don't always have to be playing the same game to share an experience ...
Two friends sit side-by-side, Kate on the right, wearing a blue shirt and playing with an arctic-white Game Boy Advance, and Allie on the left, dressed in a patterned top and handling a fuchsia GBA. Thin, adolescent arms brush against each other as the girls tap the face buttons and click the shoulder triggers. One of them laughs or yelps, and the other pauses her game to look over and catch what just happened.
A favorite song plays on the iPod situated between them, snaking up the headphone cord and halving itself to deliver messages in mono to the two girls. Kate and Allie share the earbuds the same way they divvy a pack of Twix bars, a pair of friendship bracelets, or their best-kept secrets -- one apiece.
The audio seeps out of the minature loudspeakers, whispering the words they should sing to themselves and giving their feet a rhythm to tap to. Unpracticed, their voices are off-key, but the two hardly notice.