This is probably one of the better written articles on the benefits of gaming and its relation to societies present evolution.
We are living at a major time of transition. Kids today are more and more capable of connecting with others in such a way that is very natural to them. Adults may have to learn and understand what instant messaging is in context of all they had learned prior. Kids simply accept it immediately as a form of communication.
Games are blurring with communication grounds. We notice this effect with MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, EVE Online or Second Life.