An abstract way of saying "improving and winning". Every game involves the application of some skill -- dexterity, reasoning, pattern recognition, time trials, strength -- and every skill can be exercised in a game. Games offer practical value in this regard: playing them helps the player to improve herself (or himself). Then again, perhaps the game is all that is important, and the skill must be improved solely for the success at the game.
Related to rewards, punishments and reinforcement.