I recently came to realize that gaming can be good if you look at it with a programmatic point of view. For instance: The other day I was playing Oblivion, and thought to myself "Man, there has to be a lot of if-then-else statements in there".
Now, this kind of behavior probably isn't regular in some people, but when your a programmer (well, this works for me) you look at things in different ways. You see software, and think "I wonder how they did that" or "Man, I bet I could make something like that", and you probably could, if you put your mind to it.
When you're programming for games, you go to other games to get ideas, and encouragement. This makes gaming good, especially for those that want to get into game development.
But, you have to remember, game dev isn't all fun and games (couldn't help myself). You need extensive knowledge of different programming languages, good organization, and knowledge of different frameworks. That is, unless you 'cheat' and use something like Game Maker (gross).
Now, all bad puns and joking aside, gaming can be good for your programming career, and it can be bad at the same time (spending to much time playing, less time working). But, the good usually outweighs the bad.
Are you a game programmer? Do you know anyone that is? Let me know! I'd love to talk to them!