Many people would not--do not--consider me a "true" video gamer--not the hard core video gamer that so many of my friends are/claim to be. I'm not obsessed with the gaming world, and if I play more than two new video games in the course of a year, I'm doing really, really well.
However, I am a gamer. I play it all--card games, board games, console games, PC games, flash games, word games, mind games, logic games, puzzle games, counting games, pen-and-paper games, table top games--the whole gamut. I'm good at maybe a handful, but I absolutely love playing any and all games. Nothing makes me happier than getting a group of my friends together and playing a board game, or being with my family and playing a card game, or sitting at home and playing the Sims 3, or a small flash game on my iPhone. Games bring me a joy and contentment that is hard to describe--though they certainly have their frustrating moments.
It's not that I'm obscenely competitive--in fact, most of the time I could care less if I win or lose (which is not to say I won't practice to improve--I do have pride). Mostly I just enjoy either the chance to hang out with people or the chance to keep my brain active whenever I don't feel like reading. Or when I'm trying to ignore a customer.
Wait, forget that last sentence.
Games spark my imagination in numerous ways--yes, even something as dry as Sudoku. Whenever I'm stressed games help me relax, and whenever I need to truly focus on something and think it through, playing a game at the same time diverts my attention just enough that I actually will think clearer on the problem I'm facing.
While books will always edge out over games, I must confess it is by a much smaller margin than most people would assume.
"If you must play, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.