Journeys through various hobbies.
Currently Living Life.
I agree, and my own thinking goes to the "energy" conveyed by seeing a nicely laid out game board. It's sort of akin to rock music, sometimes the core presentation might not be that significant, but the method and energy that's conveyed by the "performance" makes for a memorable experience. Also generally, nice figures and attractive terrain ramps up immersion....PC gamers and designers know all about how graphics and lighting effects draw the player into the game. These days (now that I'm retired) I spend lots of my hobby time on making custom terrain pieces for my miniature battles. To me, terrain is almost more important that the miniatures themselves, and to reinforce this idea, one can look at the rise of the 3mm gaming scale of late as a viable alternative to consider collecting......as nice looking terrain boards in 1/600 can present an almost "panoramic battlefield", and add even greater context to ones gaming experience.
I'm an aesthetic snob with a good dose of pragmatism. I like well constructed/finished terrain and buildings, but, if it isn't functional too, it's no use to me and has inherent limitations.I like well painted and based figures, but the new(ish) trend of having units looking like they're marching through Kew Gardens just looks daft.