This is a never ending discussion. Some people will defend VGs to death, some will criticize them.
I won't try to convince anybody, just tell you my personal experience in the hope that it serves as a warning for the youngsters that may read this or for concerned parents.
Born in the 80s and, like Uncle Erik, i remember the world before VGs, i remember the world before internet and home pcs.
I spent my childhood and my teen years playing video games, and i deeply regret it.
I had a lot of trouble with school peers, with my family and other stuff. And as a kid, the only thing i could do to escape was to plug my brain into a vg. Now i know that those precious moments could have been invested in sports or arts instead, but well, time is gone.
Please don't think that any time playing video games is a bad thing. It's understandeable that now and then one wants to play them, specially the young, and VGs, like it or not are part of our XXI century culture. But i think, based on my experience, that spending more than 5 hours per week in vgs is a very, very bad thing.
And of course, all gamers spend more than that. Maybe they play in one single day more than 5 hours.
What to do with spare time? id say, find some sport you really like, nowadays we have a wide array of them. The classics (basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc) and new things like skating, parkour, etc.
Find some art you'd like to develop: guitar, piano, singing, dancing, painting, even whistling properly is an art!
These days, with low cost tech, even a kid can start making experiments with a camera.
And play vgs little, play them no more than 45 min per day
The same goes for tv.
There are great shows on tv, but real life is better, and TV, well it is just a beautiful lie. Even "realities" do not depict reality. I'd say watch just 60 or 90 min watching tv.
For the young: Enjoy your body while you are young, enjoy your spare time, believe me, once you grow up spare time becomes incredibly rare