Video games provided - still do - me with entertainment that stimulates my brain and lets me explore possibilities I could only ever dream off. And they've helped my imagination, as well as provide an outlet for it with the way most of them allow for organically occurring awesomeness. In short, it's provided me with something movies, books, tv series and zoetropes couldn't - interactivity and agency; a continually organic world that can exist without me, which can be studied. And it just keeps on getting better as time passes.
Yea, the writing's not up to par yet, and we may be a bit close to the uncanny valley in terms of graphics now and then, but considering the youth of the medium (and where other screen-based media was after similar aging), I'd say gaming has improved rapidly and will continue to do so.
It's on an entirely different level than movies or tv (books at least let you imagine things, so that's some freedom), and that suits me perfectly, because I've always liked taking active part in things a lot more than just sitting idly by and watching shit happen. Which is incidentally why I don't get watching sports or religious sermons.
So I guess you could say it satisfied a desire in me that I'm not sure anything else could. Yeah yeah that sounds unhealthy, but you know what, compared to those people on etsy who sell animal skulls, I feel pretty well-adjusted. It's not like I go around stabbing somalian pirates while high, as the NRA would have you believe. Games have considerably mellowed me out and helped me learn english.
Also, my best friend and I bonded over Heroes of Might and Magic 3. Literally the first thing he said to me (after an awkward silence of us just looking at each other) was "do you like Heroes 3?". To which I responded by nodding so hard my teeth rattled.
Bastard was legendary at sieges, especially with Fortress.
We sometimes play Halo 3, but he gets so mad when I beat him that he ragequits.