Video games are getting closer and closer to becoming accepted as art. The debate, then, needs to switch to discuss what it is in an academic sense. Games should have considered a form of literature like novels and films. I think the reasoning is fairly obvious. Although there are major differences between the three the similarities are what count here. Games, like novels and films, rely on varying degrees of plot and narrative to make a point. The entertainment is very often facilitated by story in these mediums.
Games are written and coded, further bridging more traditional forms of literature. Video games, like films, require a combination of story and construction. Virtual worlds may not require physically demanding labor, but they are completely built and not written. Video games are a wonderment in so many different way, they certainly deserve the praise that other forms get.
Like novels and films, time is a required investment in order to get the full effect that is offered. Gaming is not a passive or casual hobby even though the casual gaming market is growing and the industry is responding to that. But even as simple games are becoming more popular on cell phones and mobile devices, the core gaming audience is still very much smitten with very long and involved games.
The epic games that we all love are literature, and in time I think we will all be discussing them as such. The world of academia is going to have to accept with and accept yet another new medium.