After spending much of the Memorial holiday playing Crackdown on XBOX 360, one could question why. My wife certainly asks me constantly: Why play YOUR game? Wouldn't you rather be doing X?
So why play a video game for hours on end? What is the draw and what is the retention factor? The article Escapism: What Does Your Game Offer? does a good job explaining it. So what is the answer to why I play video games? Simple: I enjoy taking a mental vacation from reality.
The fact is everyone can enjoy a break from reality from time to time. Those of us who game have this ability literality at our fingertips. Those who do not are jealous of those who do and perhaps do not even realize it.