.. the problem of games being perceived as a 'waste of time'.
The research I'm working on at the moment (I'm investigating as to whether we can publish it later on..) has bubbled up this paradox of "play" being seen as a fundamental good, and of high value, and "games" as frivolous and time-wasting, therefore of low value.
Why would this be? A raft of reasons spring to mind, some articulated by the good folk here at the beeb: "protestant work ethic", "games are made for boys", "games = toys", etc. I experienced it myself: the guilt of playing Advance Wars 2 for the second time through on the bus instead of reading a Good Book.
So I'm thinking about two things that could help fix this: explicit thinking about what a game will do for the consumer, and "nutritional information" labelling.
Example: if Advance Wars 2 were set in a lesser-known area of the globe rather than entirely fictional, I'd be learning a bit of geography; the only reason I know where Ankara is is from playing too much Diplomacy as a kid. As for labelling, it's probably a dumb idea, but I had fun in photoshop anyway: