I’ve played many hundreds – probably over a thousand – games on Kongregate alone, now.
On top of all the thousands I’ve played on console, PC, flash, handheld, mobile, etc.
I feel pretty confident in analysing game mechanics, and success/fail reasons for given game-designs, based off my extensive experience.
I frequently use my knowledge to influence design decisions and programming decisions in the games I work on.
But how many people in the games industry can say the same?
(PS: many people claim to “have no time to play games – too busy working”; my view has always been: if you really care about the art and the craft of this industry, you’ll make the time. No question about it)