Ironically, I wrote Boys and their Electronic Toys: Pleasure and Becoming Multiliterate (p67-72) published in mETAphor and SCAN, just after I gave up playing video games. Having a new baby, house and job demanded that I uninstalled European Battleground and the Total War franchise. My copy of WoW provided me with a free month subscription then that, as we say, was that.
I am still time poor but hankering to find a new video game addiction as a distraction and maybe Spore will be worth investigating. Check out the Wikipedia entry for more detail or the overview or other YouTube video clips of the game. It looks a little silly but the ambitious concept of guiding a species from cellular birth to spacefaring is just fantastic. The designer is best known for The Sims which is the bestselling PC game in history.