What the mini skirt was to my generation (as it shattered received wisdom and alienated the older folk) gaming seems to
be to the the younger generations sending them into a space where many older fogies fear to tread.
While the design elements are interesting and the influences are now everywhere in the world outside my own home, I have never got the hang of gaming culture. I think this may be because competition seems far too demanding and the intrusion of paint ball expeditions into the workplace made it a relief to get as far away from "the workplace" as was possible. Paint balling and gaming seem to have arrived together to scare many of us off.
I don't see either life or work as a game. Television programmes where people denigrate one another and cause long weeping sessions with much flouncing out of the room seem to be somehow linked with the gamesmanship that so many social encounters seem to encourage. I get teased about things being not as they were "in your day" which I take in good part, having been raised by people who thought afternoon tea the height of sophistication.
But I do find gaming interesting and sometimes ask friends about why they play one game rather than another. Some of the more violent ones seem to have replaced a night out at the theatre to see "Hamlet" or "King Lear" as a cathartic experience. In fact, I dislike most of Shakespeare quite as much as I back away from many of the adrenelin drenched games.
There was a great little game in French for children called "La Main" which taught me how to control my mouse years ago and many retired teachers used make simple games where placing the countries of Europe or the Departements of France in place passed a merry moment.
These days, there are so many good sites for anybody wishing to teach themselves design. It is worth mentioning teachingdesign.blogspot which I came across today.