Are hardcore gamers—the folks who spend kilohours playing the same game trying to hit the top of the leaderboards—wasting their lives? It's a go-to punchline used to assert dominance over nerds, but, as Patrick Miller says in this terrific post on Insert Credit, something deeper is going on. The essence of his piece is that becoming good at a game necessarily involves learning how to be good at something, and that's worthwhile even if it's achieved unintentionally. Not everyone will make use of that meta-skill in their non-gaming life, but it's still worth developing. Plus, he makes his case in part through a dialogue with "Johnny Doughnuts," who doesn't acquit himself well despite his name.

Check out the rest of the site while you're there. Insert Credit is a great, thoughtful blog written by smart people interested in games and gamers, and it's refreshingly free of press releases, "game news," and other clutter. If only it were updated more frequently (IOIWUMF).

The Stranger Testing Department is Rob Lightner and Paul Hughes.