Is "playing samurai" really a bad thing? Maybe some people want to feel important or special so they embrace that. If that makes them feel a little better about themselves, that's good. If it just sends them into self-delusion, that's bad and they'll suffer the results (just like alcoholics, couch potatoes, or anyone else who takes things too far). Maybe they'll come out of it having learned something. Which is good.
Maybe some people "play" at being samurai because they want that kind of discipline, strength, and spirituality in their life. Maybe they struggle as best they can to approach this ideal.
Maybe others "play samurai" because it brings them closer to something older, more tied in with the roots of history and culture, something much bigger than themselves.
Let's not forget one other thing. "Play" is not a bad thing. It's how we understand, explore, and enjoy our world. In the end, people who "play samurai" may just end up learning a lot about themselves, and about what it really means to be a warrior (or whatever else that ideal they strive for is.) In the end, the act of play isn't running away from who or what we are, it's running toward who or what we want to be, and thus part of it becomes who we are.
We are all, to varying degrees, samurai. Some just look better in hakama.