My early experiences were the old Atari VCS (2600) and VCS stood for video computer system. I was fascinated by the pixels and the idea of a TV being interactive.
I wanted control of the pixels.
Later, in school, I got to work on Apple ][ computers, and those just begged to be programmed. Gaming can initiate the desire, but so can a lot of other computer driven things these days.
It is not prep directly.
Indirectly, games can be prep. For a few friends and I, cracking copy protection got us into 6502 machine and later on, Assembly language. We would use the monitor to see what was going on. Reading the ROM listing told us a lot more.
BASIC is slow, and that too drove learning more. To get the real magic out of the old machines, one has to know stuff. We made games, played them and learned. Utility type programming was good too. One such program generated book reports with just a few picks and keyboard input.
Just playing, unless the game incorporates programming concepts, is not meaningful. The ability of games and other interactive things can spark the desire to build and control.
The latter leads to activities that do serve as prep.