First of all, getting involved with the actual games biz helps me understand better what kinds of games sell right now. This valuable information tells me where I should look when searching inspiration. It also gives me a bit of credibility as a game designer, so that when I claim to take influences from game design people can assume I actually know what I'm talking about. Having contacts who know the business facts of games can't hurt either. So yeah, the people angle, definitely a good thing.
Second, the lectures I attended there were also quite useful for my next project. I took special interest in all things related to social gaming (i.e. gaming on social networks) and learned a lot of stuff that might not seem relevant to researchers at first, but is of tremendous advantage when deploying serious games and game-like applications in the real world. It is much easier to do wide scale research if I our applications are actually used by real people, of their own free will.
Now back to the usual stuff. I've been reading on gamification, so perhaps a summary is in order next. Until then, bye.