I believe one of the main reasons it takes me so much longer than most to complete a game, is because I love to explore the virtual world I'm in. So many games have such beautiful hidden landscapes; it's unfortunate they go unseen. If you have the time, go back and take a sightseeing tour through your favorite game, you might be pleasantly surprised as to what you find.
I can't see how some critics can say that video games aren't a form of art; if they actually took the time to experience what they really had to offer I believe they would be blown away, and have a change of heart. I mean if those stupid Magic Eye pictures from the early 90's can be consider art, then why can't video games? Honestly, I only think they're stupid because I could never see the freaking picture within the picture.
The last few examples of this that I can think of off my head would be Borderlands, Killzone 3, and Crysis 2. Sure all three of the aforementioned titles are vastly different from one and another, but what they have to offer visually is stunning. However, the game that really made me think about this was Skyrim, this game is visually gorgeous and breathtaking.
Being a level designer seems to be a very under appreciated job, which is a shame because some of them do great work and should be commended for it. I know I'm letting my "sissy" flag fly high by admitting I like to explore the scenery and appreciate it as if I was looking at one of those "wish you were here" postcards, but I'm okay with that. I'm the type of person who could sit at the beach for hours just to watch the sunset and to feel the breeze; it doesn't take too much to make me happy. I know what I said sounds like a dating profile line, but I'm just making a point.