Must it be infinite? Do you actually expect an applicant to tolerate any roadblock, spend any amount of resources to get a game programming job?
That's obviously not possible. It is true that you can take an expectation of "passion" to an extreme (that is, use "we want you to be passionate about game" to mean "we will work you overtime for months without compensation") that is unhealthy. It happens. Just like other bad things happen in the industry. But that doesn't mean that everybody does it. For most people having a desire to work in the industry is simply another one of the many positive aspects of a candidate that they look for when recruiting. It does not need to be a "requirement," just like a degree is not a "requirement" and you can get jobs without it. It is certainly a plus in the favor of the candidate, though, if he or she can demonstrate that they really enjoy and want to make games as a career.
After reading all of this, I am starting to wonder less if either of us are cut out for this field, and wonder more if this field is cut out for us. I still have the freedom of choice - thank providence; my young acquaintance is broke, hungry, and on his last month's rent. I can't possibly see how he can switch careers now unless there is one that requires exactly the same skills as a game developer demands - and even then, he won't have the experience of the field that those employers demand. You're watching one of your own (though it's obvious you don't feel any kinship) lose life's struggle and I see no ounce of remorse. I fear that next month I may find him on the sidewalk either begging for change - or worse, heaven forbid - lying in a pool of his own blood under a tall building.
I'm a little unclear at this point what the aim of this thread is; I feel like we have wandered off on a slight tangent.
What sort of answers are you looking for at this point, and to what questions?