What Comes First: The Game or The Group?
This isn't a chicken or the egg question, just so you know ;)
I suspect the answer literally depends on the group. As has been stated before, our group is nearing 3 years in the making. Bonds of friendship have been made and game sessions often devolve / evolve into "chat sessions". We often talk as much about what is going on in the world of gaming as we do actually playing the game.
I suspect with groups that aren't as bonded between the players, such distractions would be considered a time waster or worse. For us, it just reinforces the fact that we are friends that play games together, and the friendships involved often push game play aside, and we are okay with that.
This is via G+ Hangouts / Roll20, but for us it may as well be face to face.
So, where do your sessions fall on the grand scheme of things?