This has only the faintest connection to interactive entertainment, but I’ve always found the explanation for Gnomian magic in Reinder Dijkhuis’s “Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan” hilariously clever:

“A few notes on the Gnomian transport ritual: Gnomian magic, as has been mentioned before, uses the energy generated by secret conspiracies, redirecting it for magical purposes.”

He more or less draws the same cliched scenes, but with a cleverer meaning. At some point, a character who wants to use magic says “OK, think about overthrowing the Gnomian government from within.”