I have a PS2, Wii, 360, Gaming PC, DS and PSP. I also work in a game shop lol so I spend alot of my time playing or talking about games and consoles.
I love games. They've always been an integiral part of human society since the dawn of time. Humans have always played games, and so do animals. It's just that games have evolved overtime. We played games with stones, bits of wood etc, which evolved to cards and baord games, which evolved to video games. That's not to say we don't still play old fashioned games too. I don't see how games can be a waste of time at all, it's just a different use.
It's amazing the amount of time, effort and creativity goes into creating games, if you really looked into it I'm sure you'd be amazed.
Game do exist so we can 'escape', it allows us to relax and have fun, giving us a break and letting us have our own space. Same as any hobby or interest. Some people might like to read, some might like to play games. Some, like myself, have a variety of hobbies. However some like my boyfriend only really have fun when playing games. We're all different and we should embrace that. Escapism is certainly not a bad thing.