there's your bottomline. when ppl bought up atari systems and nintendo etc, they were getting the actual hardware needed to play virtual games. But ultimately what they were really purchasing was the icon of a plumber jumping over icons of barrels. In 2011, the hardware is ubiquitous so we just go straight to the sale of icons. In the end, it's the gaming experience ppl are paying for and have always paid for.
and yes, i still appreciate the humor in your post :)