We look for competence — the need for mastery, progression, achievement, and growth. We need autonomy — the need for volition and freedom of control over our choice. And finally, we strive for relatedness — the need to feel like we matter to others and that others matter to us. Unfortunately, when considering the state of modern childhood, many kids aren't getting enough of these three essential elements.
Its because adulthood starts so late in modern times, used to be 12 then 14 then 18 and 21 now you are basically a kid till at least college is over around 22. In that decade between 12 and 22 young people aren't allowed to do anything that provides any meaningful sense of achievement. Adults wont let them into the real world and economy so young people have to carve out their own niche where they can be good and have achievements and adults cant compete.
When I was young that was the internet. I could navigate the internet much better than adults. I created websites, forums and even ran a small community to get my kicks. You cant do that anymore, as most users are in the Google/FB/Amazon Adult run and moderated walled garden so young people have adapted and found a place where they could get that achievement and that's competitive gaming.
Games are too good at meeting all of a young persons needs for progression mastery and achievement. A couple decades of iteration have really nailed down that formula to the point that there isnt much in reality that can compete. Merit badges, Titles, and championship trophy's all are less fun to get and less fulfilling than the social media rush that comes from being good at video games.