No comment on the second article.
As for the first one...
Can't we just say we like to play a game because it's entertaining?
People enjoy Runescape because it's a game. People like the feeling of achievement not because it's educational or practical, but rather because we get a shot of neurotransmitters into our heads everytime we achieve a goal we've set for ourselves. People like their friends
online because we are social creatures and we enjoy each other's company, and online friendships can supply (to the extent in which it is allowed) what we need in real-life interactions.
This is why I disagree mostly with the first perspective, because it could easily be interpreted as effort justification. This is when we convince ourselves that the amount of time we've spent on a game (or anything, for that matter) is actually worth our time, health, and money. I think while the intent of the author may have been good, I could think of a hundred things that would serve an individual better if they were actually trying to cultivate those values.
There are exceptions for everything, of course, and I will gladly eat my hat to see a CEO or Nobel Prize winner or Politician attribute their successes to lessons learned while playing Runescape.
(Which... surprisingly enough, I wonder why the author didn't comment on guilds. Guilds on MMORPGs are basically analogous to job applications, and in many, many aspects it is exactly the same as having a job.)