This is just an observation tonight while raiding in World of Warcraft.
When I first started almost exactly 5 years ago, the day the game came out, many of my fellow guildmates had to worry about school schedules or their parents allowing them to play. Tonight most of the interruptions were due to guild member’s children.
Odd the things one notices, especially when you’re trained to notice such things.
As far as gaming goes, it is more than just about playing the game for me, I also help moderate WoW_Ladies, the largest women’s WoW community online with over 7500 women (and men!) in it. Additionally, I have focused some of my undergrad studies in the form of an ethnography a guild in WoW for my ethnographic field methods class and grad studies on it in the form of a user group analysis (and a resulting product I created but will not post until someone comes up with this or I get the funding to make it happen!) for my information sciences class.
If you want to know how important gaming is today, I suggest reading: Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever published by Harvard Business School. It’s an interesting read even if, and especially if, you have never played a game in your life!