Games are not fully explored if you only consider them as self-contained systems. Even the most abstract of games are played by dynamic humans who vary in experience and culture. Their cultural norms can amplify or deaden the impact of game events in comparison to a completely neutral theoretic player.
Designers who ignore the cultural milieu in which their games exist in do so at great risk. While many game makers have tried to leverage the cultural aspects of their game for attention (see the 1990s slate of increasingly ridiculous games that tried to out-violence each other), some are beginning the leverage the cultural to help give depth and nuance to issues that surround us.