This holiday season will be fraught with misery if you, the youth of America, don't get an XBox 360. That said, we are offering some talking points you may use to convince your parents/grandparents to allow this demonic box into the living room. Talking points, for those not in the know, are a way for smart people to teach stupid people how to convince smart/stupid people to believe something. That is not to say you or your parents are stupid. Far from it. Unfortunately, talking points are a way to get everyone on the same page so we can have a united front against nay-sayers. Like a hunter, we must take on the mindset of our parents et al and learn to outwit them. Let's begin.
Talking Point #1 - The XBox 360 is very scarce and therefore valuable. A kind reader sent us an IM that his local GameSpot store will not have very many 360s to sell and that most pre-orders will arrive AFTER Christmas. Mom and Dad definitely have things that are scarce—jewelry, wine, hair—and will understand this concept. Consider printing out important newspaper articles repeating this claim of scarcity and avoid saying "My friend IMed me that they would be scarce." This will not work. HINT: Remind your parents that by allowing you to purchase this as soon as possible, they will avoid the mad holiday gift buying rush. Also accept the obvious ploy of "We can get it, but you can't open it until later." This, in their eyes, is a way to teach you about patience. This helps them feel better, so accept it.
Talking Point #2 - It can play DVDs and CDs. We need to break out all of the 360's media features at this point in order to offer more ammunition. For those benighted souls who still don't have DVD players in their bedrooms, this feature is quite important. By convincing your parents that it will save on them purchasing you a DVD player, they can expect to think that they are essentially getting $50 or so off of future purchases. This is false, because you are young and you will spend $1000 on games and controllers rather than old fashioned picture shows, but they don't know this yet.
Talking Point #3 - It can play music. This is something your parents have been wondering for a few years now: they have a bunch of MP3s on my office PC and they'd like to listen to them on the home stereo. There are lots of potential solutions out there, but this one is very elegant. Basically, tell them they can turn on their Windows XP machine and share music over the home network. This obviously assumes you have a home network. If you do not, you must make one for your parents. This also assumes that you will let them near the 360 once it is firmly ensconced in its rightful place under the TV. Do not allow them to touch it.
Talking Point #4 - You can view photos. This is a hard sell. Viewing boring pictures is an adult activity and they will expect you to set it up so they can show vacation snaps to the guests. Inform them that your family currently has 5,000+ digital photos on various hard drives and this tool will let Mom or Dad browse them via the television.
Talking Point #5 - Silly arcade games for whole family. XBox Live has a feature that lets you download silly, Tetris/Pac Man/Space Invaders-esque arcade games. Obviously, this does nothing for you, but it may amuse Mom and Dad for a brief period until they get bored. This will also remind them that they once liked video games, and depending on their ages, will allow you to trounce them soundly. Do not attempt if you have parents in their early twenties or if you have younger siblings.
Talking Point #6 - It's an excuse to get a HDTV. This is another hard sell. Proceed with caution. By talking up the 360's HD capabilities, you may cause one or both parents to purchase an HD TV, which would be fun for the whole family. However, be very careful. Misstating your facts here could cause them to believe that the 360 requires an HDTV, which will definitely go against your mission.
Talking Point #7 - You will meet new friends from all over the world who will not kill/kidnap you. Remember - by allowing your parents to embrace the 360 philosophy, you may be able to convince them to also pony up the $49 for the half-year XBox Live membership, allowing you to interact with other human beings. This is cold comfort for your parents as they watch you scream obscenities at teenagers in Wyoming, but at least you're getting out of the house - albeit virtually.
Using these points, and any others our commentors might have to offer, you will be able to convince any parental or grandparental unit that the 360 is a "good idea." Remember, together in gaming we can make America a more anti-social and obese place.