And the winner for best ‘third place’ for teens is…

Manboo in Japan. Maybe. Think of it as a social hangout/cafe/living room/gaming room/entertainment center/salon/computer school/hostel. Let’s break it down…

At Manboo, for $4/hour you can:

– Relax in big comfy chairs or sofas in cubicled living rooms and surf the internet, watch one of hundreds of DVDs, read comics, or play one of hundreds of PS2/Xbox games.

– Stay overnight for $11/hour. There are lots of couches to sleep on, plus showers.

– Enjoy an unlimited amount of tea, coffee or soda, or purchase inexpensive food and snacks. Ok, so it’s not a health spa.

– Get a manicure. Really. This means it’s not just for guys (hopefully.)

– Learn how to use computers via hands-on classes.

– Hang out 24/7, if so inclined. One guy spent 10 straight days there. I assume he at least made more friends than if he spent the same amount of time at home in front of his computer or TV. Maybe someday they’ll make an outdoor version…