The more I think about it, the sillier it seems that companies value a CS degree more than proven experience for entry level jobs. "Oh yeah, let's not hire the kid with tons of proven development experience
But that's not the way it is. Again, you misuse and abuse the word "experience."
Game companies do NOT value a degree more than experience for entry level jobs. If an entry-level applicant had experience, he wouldn't be an entry-level applicant.
A kid with proven experience (by which I mean EXPERIENCE) is surely not a kid.
As I explained in my articles on HR resume filters (and as backed up by an industry pro who spoke to USC students this very evening at an event I organized on campus), the problem is getting past the HR resume filters in the first place. This pro tonight said almost exactly what I say in my articles: when Disney posts an opening for an entry-level position, a thousand applications come in. How on earth do you deal with all that, if you're the guy at Disney who needs to hire someone?
Experience (by which I mean EXPERIENCE, not just what you're calling experience) is much more highly valued than a degree. I don't think you understood my articles if you say things like what you said. Either that, or you're just letting your frustration take you into denial. You want to believe the world works the way you want it to work, so you deny that it works the way it actually works.
Experience trumps degree. Without experience, you need to stand out from the crowd. If a thousand entry-level applications contain 500 with a degree and 500 without, you can halve the workload by starting with the degreed applicants.