A RL friend recently asked me "Don't you feel you are wasting your time playing video games in lieu of doing something creative instead?"
In addition to SL, I play Aion and also love console games (I have a 360 and a PS3) that I enjoy playing with my sister. I'll admit that we even wear matching headbands and have an absolute blast together! Call it family bonding with controllers in hand. That's not a waste of time to me.
My answer to my friend was that I enjoy it, it makes me happy and I'm good at it. I also told him that I suppose the time he spends watching lots of TV shows and movies and dissecting them to death online is time he could spend doing something creative as well, such as his own artwork. How is gaming different than any other hobby? Some folks like to read or scrapbook or make duck decoys. I like to wield a sword or run amok as a tiny bunny sometimes. Big deal. To each their own. I'm sure as hell not going to knock what brings someone joy.
If I wasn't doing anything creative at all in RL I could see the problem, but the funny thing is that I find inspiration from my gaming instead. It fires up my imagination and can help with a story or something I wish to draw. And my SL friends, for instance, have been just as supportive and encouraging of my RL creative endeavors and get on me if I slack.
Besides, as the artist Auguste Rodin once said: "Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely."