For the same reason I enjoy Pokemon, I love Endless Ocean. You go diving, collect fish by clicking on them, and discover interesting facts about things you may never find in real life. It's certainly more convenient. Whenever you click on a fish or manta ray or turtle, a little info box comes up with the name, and you can click on that to find out how big they usually grow, interesting physiological facts and usual habitat in regards to where you currently are. I don't know any real device that affords such amazing convenience, short of something with a good old 'Don't panic!' sticker.
The journey of knowledge is something I enjoy, but even more beautiful are the visuals. Even were I to go scuba diving, short of becoming a diving instructor or diving guide, there's very little chance I would ever get to see such a diversity of locations. Factor into that unlimited air and a collect-em-all codex, and I'm one happy explorer.
But, ah! Exit the tutorial, and not only will you be confronted with Story, but an air limit and combat will be introduced! I see. Well, the combat 'calming' weapon can also be used to heal sick fishies, so that much I like, but an air limit is definitely not my style.
My other gripe is that they used recursive storytelling to start the game. It's essentially a mystery, but they tell me I find what I'm looking for, without letting me go inside. How rude! I guess it's kept me interested in the story, which I would otherwise ignore in favour of poking sea cucumbers and cataloguing kelp. My life is an exciting one indeed.
Does it make me want to go diving? Yes and no. Yes, because I know the real thing would be so much more amazing, and no, because I know the real thing can be so much more dangerous. The simulation is enough for now. Luckily for me, the Great Barrier Reef isn't all that far away, so at least if I change my mind, reality can meet me halfway.