Games, if done well, can be a form of learning. Microsoft Office Labs did an experiment that turned Office in to a Game. They shared some key findings / thoughts here: http://www.slideshare.net/danctheduck/wordcamp-2010-public
Incidentally, Nivi from Venturehacks posted a blog this morning asking that if there a place for gaming mechanism in starting, managing startup etc. It is a good read. http://venturehacks.com/articles/startup-game
Fundamentally, both learning and gaming touches the basic human psychology, the understanding of which will help you better design your product (whether it is a social game, or your startup company).