I am of the opinion that playing video games is better than watching television. When you watch television youare sitting and watching the screen without interacting at all. When you play video games at least you are doing something more than just watching. You are actually thinking because you are in control of what is happening. Depending on the game you might actually be thinking quite hard if you are for example trying to solve a puzzle. Or coming up with a strategy to accomplish a certain goal in the game.
When you are watching television you may be thinking but only to the extent of understanding the plot. Where as in a video game you need to understand the plot and control and navigate the game skillfully enough to not lose. Although i don't think all games fit into the category i am talking about. Simple games like Warblade that have you performing nearly mindless repetitive tasks may require you to interact but not very much. But in many more complex games puzzle solving is a major aspect of the game and requires you to actually use your brain to solve the puzzle.
There are television shows that require you to think more, like game shows if you are competing with the contestants from your couch. But the majority of shows simply require that you watch in order to understand what is going on. I know that i personally feel much more engaged when i'm playing a game and actually need to think in order to proceed.