A home PC was basically a glorified typewriter. You had the advantage of not needing white-out or wasting paper if you made a mistake. It was also a kind of cheap art-maker: Print Shop let you make covers for book reports, or greeting cards, or even banner for events. Graphs and spreadsheets also had a lot of implications and practical uses, not just with school, but with a job as well. Your presentation is going to be more respectable if it looks like you didn't just cut up construction paper and wildly guess how much of the pie chart was 17%. It was a home Kinko's. Sure, Kinko's was 24hrs/7days, but it wasn't in your home office or living room.
On the games side of things: PC games didn't have the plug-and-play simplicity of their console counterparts, but they usually offered a slightly more immersive experience, such as a flight simulator or most sports games. Zork would have failed miserably on the NES, and Ultima would never have been able to make the leap to online if it had only the closed-market of the Sega Channel to find its users.
Console gamer who admits to a dependency on PCs... curse their beige casings and annoying printers.