Yeah... In my mind - if you've played games your whole life, and you've analysed them during and since.. what are these guys gonna know that you're not? (apart from how to write it in a way that is acceptable for publishing in a book).. You have 20+ years of experience in the area (depending on your age, etc..etc..)
Probably the best thing to do is play some shitty games. It helps. You can learn as much from mistakes as you can successes.
Old post is old, but want to say this anyways:
I think game designers do more than just play and analyze video games. There is great deal of proper science behind game design that most people playing and analyzing games don't do. This is the advantage that experienced game designers have over novice designers. They know that there are two sides to game design: the one which is about knowing what you like, knowing what you hate and using your imagination to come up with experiences that are equally or more powerful than existing ones and there is this other side to game design which is about effectively communicating these experiences. Now, I'm tempted to call the first one "the artistic side" and the second one "the scientific side" but it's hard to draw the line, so I'll back off. What I want to say is that the second one is clearly more scientific since it requires careful testing, which is playtesting. The knowledge professional game designers gain through playtesting and the knowledge they derive from that knowledge is what's almost exclusive to them and that's where the value of design books is.
Novice game designers don't playtest. They say they make games for themselves, so testing is unnecessary. But, that's a common lie - you never make games for yourself, you will rarely enjoy games you make because your game has been spoiled to you in the long process of development. What you really are doing is making games for those who are like you, and that's perfectly fine! It's quite likely that experience you are designing is so awesome that there is minority or maybe even majority of people that will like it, but you still have to communicate it properly. So, um, how do you do that? I mean, how do you learn to do it properly? You learn it through serious science which is playtesting or you read about it in books and then expend it through playtesting.