Depends on what the ‘game’ is. Whatever we ‘play’ at in a dream might just be fun or suggest great seriousness. As humans we use an enormous number of strategies to gain our ends, as explained in the book Games People Play.
The idioms define some of these ‘games’. Idioms: come into play; foul play; make a play for, make play of; play a pan in; play along with, play at; play cat and mouse; play dead/possum; play down; played out; play fair; play false, play for time; play hard to get; play it cool; play no pan in it; play on words; play safe; play people off against each other, play something down, play the field; play up; play upon a weakness/fear; play up to someone; the state of play; play somebody at their own game; child’s play; play ball with; play it by ear, play fast and loose; play gooseberry, play havoc with, play merry hell; play into their hands; play one’s ace; play one’s cards right, play second fiddle; play the fool; play the game; play the white man; play to the gallery; play with fire; two can play at that game.
Playing a game with children may mention a wish or heed to become more playful. Playing a board game may comment that you are bored with life. Playing in the water represents turning an emotional issue into something fun and liberating.
1. Need for physical movement and activity; fun.
2. To act out and release trapped emotions.
3. Desire to take life less seriously.