Take the degree if you want to learn. Not because you want respect.
I agree with this, but also disagree with it.
I feel the respect factor goes both ways. Not so much as a brag factor, but the respect of someone going to school and completing the system by dedicating their life into doing so. It is the same reason you respect someone going to Yale vs an online Chinese get your degree in 10 hrs school.
I agree though that you take the degree to learn and build off. You explore alot more than you think using a degree learning style. It also shows that your able to start something, stick with it even though its not enjoyable or a burden and complete it. Most game companies that I know of usually use the line of BS/MS or Equivalant experiance. This isn't just game design, this is about the field and the supposed knowledge you would have gotten at the school should you have attended the courses. They ask for that because the bare min that these offer will at least help push you in the right direction since you have the implied logic.