Sometimes it's nice to imagine games as occupying the same space as literature. We're not there yet, but we can do the next best thing with the red pen of revisionism. Author Ernest Hemingway had this to say about the nature of his craft in a 1934 issue of Esquire. I've "amended" Hemingway's words of course:
All good games are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a game designer.
There's also the heavy drinking, but let's take it one step at a time.