It's tempting to demonstrate the value of playful activity within the framework of the very system that disapproves of such activity. In other words, I could leverage the values of the puritan work ethic system to prove that play and fun ultimately help make us more productive, which translates into the transcendent goal: more money. Here's what that would look like: Games are good because they make learning fun. Being an engaged learner motivates me to learn more. Learning more makes me smarter. Being smarter makes me more capable; being more capable makes me more productive; being more productive makes me more valuable; being more valuable makes me more money. Or another take: Games simulate cognitive processes such as identifying patterns, understanding complex systems, and chunking large amounts of information. Playing games enhances these cognitive abilities; enhanced cognition makes me a more capable learner. Learning more makes me smarter. Being smarter makes me more capable. See above. I'm not suggesting these arguments are invalid; only that their validity relies on a set of desired outcomes driven by values that games should bear no responsibility to uphold. Maybe games can make us smarter and more productive, but games don't require such outcomes for validation. In fact, many of the best games provoke all sorts of wonderful, but decidedly unproductive, self-indulgent, and inefficient behaviors. Such games are like toys in the best, most delightful sense of that word.