I have had this question in my mind for quiet some time now, but Keith' latest article finally made me create a thread: What is the value of games? Are games good for humanity? While other artforms (music, paintings, theater...) are socially accepted as something worthwhile and meaningful, games are often regarded as time-wasters. I am sure most of you know the term "game shame". So how can I justify that I spent my time as a game designer, if games are just a waste of time? I could do something "useful" instead... Here are some (unsorted) thoughts on it: I think most people agree that games are separate from real life. So we do not learn anything specific in a game that would be useful outside the game (such as a language or math). Is the useful thing we learn in games maybe something more general, more meta? Maybe something like "learning to learn"? There are three Extra-Credits episodes, in which James tries to formulate what he got out of gaming. Maybe this is pointing into the right direction... For me, the fact that people are willing to pay money for games is not an argument to prove that games have value (in the sense that they are good for humanity). People are paying money for drugs, too. In this Chart, Keith says that the value of a game is "understanding". How is understanding an abstract system (that is detached from real life) of any value? To finish this post positively: I do think there is value in games. But I am having trouble pinpointing what exactly this value is. So maybe you can help me out here.