Game Center

The Mac has had its share of games over the years, but it’s never been much of a haven for gamers. But the Game Center app does make the Mac a little bit more of a hospitable place for the games people play.

Game Center began life on iPhones and iPads in 2010 as a way to compare scores with friends and challenge buddies to games. Several updates and 130 million people later, Game Center on iPhones/iPads is a certified hit.

Little wonder then, that Apple would want to create a Mac version of Game Center to promote gaming on the Mac. It performs the same functions as the iPhone version of Game Center—but opens up the possibility of playing games on your Mac against people with phones and tablets. (That miracle, of course, is possible only in cases when the same game is available on those different gadgets.) Someday soon, Apple hopes, there will be one glorious, universal game ecosystem of Apple machines.

Getting Started

When you open the Game Center app, start by signing in. If you’ve used Game Center on your phone or tablet, your Apple ID appears automatically; just type your password. From there, Game Center imports everything—your nickname, your list of existing Game Center friends, and even the photo you use to identify yourself.

If this is your first time with Game Center, fill in your Apple ID (Placing a Call) and password. You’re asked to create a nickname—“AngriestBird” or “BobSmith2000,” for example. This nickname is public and can appear on the leaderboards for games ...

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