The part of me that appreciates the romantic allure of worldbuilding rarely shows up to the game table. When it comes time to roll dice I need a board the players can move their pieces across more than a dreamscape for shared hallucination.
Would chess be less popular without the fluff of kings and queens and their servants going to war? What if the knight wasn't shaped like a horsey or the rook like a tower?
A simple rule that approximates the desired effect is often better than a complex rule that hits the nail squarely on the head.
For every Gygax quote there is an equal and opposite Gygax quote.
Joe the Fighter and Bob the Magic-User fight orcs and giant rats in the Generic Dungeon of Randomized Peril. If everyone had a good time, would it necessarily have been better if the setting was less vanilla? If the session was a dud, would anything have been gained by glitzing up the joint?