This is really late, but I hope there's some semblance of relevance left in what I wrote in response to an old (very old) Kotaku feature now.
Leigh Alexander has an interesting piece up on Kotaku about trying to explain video games to non-gamers. She certainly sets the bar high for herself in attempting to open the discussion with laymens-terms-Fallout-3, an arduous task that is sure to become a new olympic sport of words.
Anyways, Fallout 3 is obviously (/sarcasm) a First Person Shooter Role Playing Game with a morality and combat systems overlay set in a postapocalyptic Washington DC.
Wow, what mouthful. I'm beginning to think about Luke Plunkett's (also Kotaku) feature on attempting to define video games in more approachable genre terms. That description of Fallout 3 could sure benefit from a simpler label... say, Science Fiction? Perhaps this difficulty is, in fact, generated entirely by gamers themselves. Maybe we try to insulate ourselves in our genres in a weird sort of meta-delusional-escapism.
Despite these subconcious efforts, gamers are also constantly arguing that their medium is art and that it should be taken seriously. So what do you want then? As games mature and male themselves taken seriously through their content and interaction with the audience, they're ultimately going to have to do a good job of explaining themselves too. Until games can do it for themselves, gamers will have to get better at being the ambassadors.