BASIC, as defined by it's own acronym, is a language for training and instruction. A way to cut one's teeth on programming, as it were, and to allow novices to produce code to accomplish simple tasks in a time share environment. I'd say that if programming had a "play-to-learn" curriculum, BASIC would be the "toy blocks" in the toy-chest. It's definitely one of the oldest toys in the toy-chest. Here's a sobering thought - the last stable version of GW-BASIC was introduced roughly 24 years after the language's inception - and it's only been 28 years since that release, (for those of us who remember playing with it).
I'm not saying it isn't a good beginner's language, and I'm also not suggesting people have never done any productive work with it. It's a "toy language" with a serious purpose, but that purpose wasn't intended to be serious software production.