Apologies to those who visit /r/boardgames, but I wanted to get the opinions of folks on here too.
So on our latest podcast, myself and my co-host Paddy Brophy got into about theme, and in a sense Theme vs. Mechanics. I find I tend to gravitate towards games with strong themes, or away from games with certain themes (modern warfare for example), whereas Paddy will play basically anything despite theme.
We, shockingly, didn't come to a consensus. I maintain theme is important for a number of reasons such as attracting new players, helping comprehend rules, and selling copies. Paddy just can't seem to grasp why theme is so important to people!
If you want to hear the discussion in full, here's the link to Soundcloud, but there's iTunes and Stitcher links on the side if that suits better. The discussion starts around 45 minutes.
Whether you listen or not we'd love to hear your opinions as I don't think this is going away!
TL;DR: Does theme matter to you? Do certain themes or elements put you off a game (mention of Hitler, slavery in board games etc.)? Are there themes that will sway you to buy a game, like zombies, Cthulhu, etc.. Love to hear all your opinions!
I'm sure this has been debated multiple times on here but I always find it interesting to see if opinions have changed in any major way over time.