Hey Jeff, I've got a little thought experiment for you:
Imagine that just today, you're playing the original Super Mario Bros. for the first time in your life, and you have no prior experience with the franchise, you're just plopped into world 1-1 with no knowledge of the game other than go right and save a princess.
You quickly learn the basics through trial and error, burn through all your lives a couple times, discover a couple secrets along the way, but despite spending all day with the game, the farthest you can reach is 8-3. The dreaded Gamer Over screen pops up, and you walk away from the game knowing you're gonna have to start all the way back at 1-1 the next time you play.
Would you call your experience playing Super Mario Bros a waste of time?