When Themes Come True : Why Board Games are like Theme Parks

We seek meaning in our lives; we want our actions to matter. Games of all sorts, however, are among those activities where the consequences of our actions only play out in the world of the game, allowing us to experiment with different strategies in order to overcome our opponents without fear of causing a catastrophic mishap. While exchanging a couple of pieces of cardboard for wooden blocks to push a player token five centimetres to the right might spell victory at the final scoring of a complex board game, this is also frivolous in some fundamental way. Even so, tabletop games endow such trivial actions with meanings that make a marathon gaming session memorable – and they do it through theming.
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