If you use the words, "this hobby allows me to relive the moments of childhood", or "provides an understanding of the developments of history regarding electronic entertainment" diminishes the aspects of trying to explain costs or value to another non pinhead directly, which is a common problem and some of the first questions asked.
The other keywords are "not all games cost thousands of dollars", as there is no need to detail expenditures or show off game rooms.
The best way to avoid being burned out by others is donate a game project to an aspiring protege and get them involved restoring the game themselves.
The rest of the magic will work itself in the journey.
It works well.
The process is not about ownership, but restoration and pride in work.
A fellow senior technician today (who is quickly becoming the last of few who regularly refurbishes CRTs of all makes and models for many classic games) said something interesting to me.
"There are many hobbyists, but few experts in specific areas of coin amusement, and being one of the few who knows a direct system, makes a person extremely invaluable to the industry even for consignment work, and they are sought out."
A very true statement.
A purpose beyond simple collecting.
Be that person, and leave your mark on the world.