I was reading a review of a game that I quite enjoy (it doesn't matter which one) that had a fair amount of "you're doing it wrong!" criticism in it. Basically, there are people who like this game but they don't follow all the rules, so that's not proof the game is fun.
I kind of thought, well, so what?
This distinction kind of percolated to the top of my brain:
. . . you're playing the game wrong, but having fun? I think the "enjoying the game" part trumps rules accuracy, rules intentions of the game designers, and pretty much everything else.
Ideally you'd be playing the game right, and enjoying it. But it's the second part that matters.
My mental image here is Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes fame) doing crossword puzzles, and bemoaning the lack of space to write the correct answers. He's having a blast, but not actually doing crossword puzzles as intended. Who cares? Having a blast. If you're doing something to enjoy it and you're enjoying it, it's fulfilling its purpose.
. . . you're playing the game wrong, and not having fun? Then I think the "playing the game wrong" can be an issue.
For example, I remember talking to a gamer about GURPS. He hated it - it was way too lethal. It was really easy to hit with guns, and then you just died. A little talking later and I realized that they didn't allow any defenses against guns because you can't dodge bullets. Which is a misreading of the rules - GURPS does allow Dodge rolls against gunshots (and even laser fire!) that you see coming. There are a lot of reasons for this - game lethality for one, the need to fold defensive movement into the results of combat, and the built-assumption that defense rolls are normal and expected, to name a few. So they were doing it wrong, by the rules. And not enjoying the game when they did it that way.
Essentially in this case you're not having fun, which is usually the main point of game playing. It's not necessarily a fault of the game or the rules here - it's possibly because you aren't playing it as intended. I think some "X is broken" arguments stem from this - rules misunderstandings that lead to not-enjoyable play.
It's like when people say Monopoly sucks because it takes too long, and then you find out they put money under Free Parking and allow bank loans - both of which extend the game. It's valid to point out the rules changes are possibly what is causing the issues you don't like. You might still not like it played as intended, but it's not a useful critique of the underlying game. "Used as directed" might apply here.
And back to the first example, if those rules are making the game fun for people, then that's fine.
I'm not sure how useful this post is to anyone, but I thought it was a good mental exercise for me. It's a good way for me to look at games - and at reviews and opinions of games. If it's fun, correct doesn't matter so much. If it's not fun, it's worth asking if a misunderstanding is causing that. If it's still not fun, that's something else - at least it's accurate and potentially informative.