Playing games can show you how a person will react in real life. Well it did for me when I noticed my children's "strategies" when they play.
For example, both of them are on restaurant city. The older one, will keep all her money, and then spend them on all the ingredients necessary to upgrade her dish. Doesnt matter if she doesnt have all the ingredients, but she will spend all the money necessary, so that when the ingredient goes on sale, or if she is able to get it thru trades, she can reach top level very quickly. Also, she will purchase or trade and plan in advance even for levels which she has yet to achieve!
The younger one, is the kind soul. He will happily trade with his friends for ingredients to help others achieve their upgrades. Never mind his own. Also, he would rather spend his money buying gadgets for his restaurant - like the TV, boom box, speakers. And when the ingredients that he needs goes on sale, he finds that he is short of cash to buy what he needs.
I have been using this game to teach him on the need to save for what he needs and not blow it all on the latest items. It also really shows me how their attitudes towards cash are, and who I know will make a good treasurer, and who the interior designer.
So it looks like there are benefits to be obtained from them playing games. Its not time all lost or wasted on the game. They can learn real life strategies as well.