I agree with what the author is saying, you can pack every cinematic, literary or artistic convention into a game and still not come up with a good experience. His reference to Spore as an example of a game succeeding on its own merits without referencing other media types is spot on, you could add Braid, Puzzle Quest and Castle Crashers to the list too. Games like these grab gamers of a "certain age" because,as the author notes they hark back to the days when games were just games, just playthings really, follies made just for fun.
My current benchmark for a game succeeding as a piece of cinematic/ artistic/ literary excellence would be GTAIV, but its not much of a game. Its an experience akin to cinema but the gameplay was so boring and cliche'd I couldn't finish it.