The way things are labelled inevitably affects how they are perceived.
If you think of videogames as “toys”, it paints a radically different picture than if you think of them as a medium for communication and expression. One way trivializes them, the other places them on the same page as film, television, books, etc. The second also opens up the possibility of viewing games as art.
When I teach my Digital Game Based Learning course, I always ask the question. Most of the students are working teachers, some with many years’ experience.
I ask, “How many of you think of videogames as toys?”
Most put up their hands.
Then I ask, “How many of you think of television as a toy?”
Most put their hands back down.
There’s the difference. Right there.
Until we get past this, games will be fighting an uphill battle.