Interesting game, Professor; the only winning move is not to play.
The point of "it is just a game" is to discourage people from taking the points too seriously. When somebody is talking about gaming the system just for the sake of points, then that is precisely missing the point.
So, yes, the XP part is just a side game. And, yes, it is also a big mistake to treat the site as just a game (though doing so usually also leads to losing the game, thankfully).
I'll upgrade my admonition to "Just remember: You can't treat PerlMonks XP too much like a game".
<code> <a> <b> <big> <blockquote> <br /> <dd> <dl> <dt> <em> <font> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <hr /> <i> <li> <nbsp> <ol> <p> <small> <strike> <strong> <sub> <sup> <table> <td> <th> <tr> <tt> <u> <ul>