Games result in real learning
An ingenious piece of research neuroscientist Paul Fletcher did the research at Cambridge and showed that playing games had a direct influence on subsequent real life choices. The study took 22 volunteers and got them to sip drinks while doing a cycling game. A follow up three days later showed aversion/preference to different team jerseys.
The good news is that we seem to be entering a period when games are becoming easier to make, with authoring tools such as ThinkingWorlds from Caspian Learning, Flash and so on. Participation in games results, as I always suspected, on much deeper processing than many other learning methods - lectures etc., so that retention is higher, but more importantly learnt skills result in actual behavioural change. We've known this from Flight Simulators for decades. The nice thing about this study is the elegance of the experiment, which isolates the causality.