Lore emerges when people try to make the minutes less lousy
For me, the tone of this post slides dangerously close to behaviorism. And when I say behaviorism, I'm referring to it in the way articulate by Alfie Kohn in "Punished by Rewards." People aren't machines that need to be managed with little hits to keep them going.
I disagree the primary purpose of lore is "to make the minutes bearable." If that's the life you're living, I think it is time to switch contexts. Sometimes I hear people talking about the average number of weeks left they can anticipate in their lives. This is a deadening way to think about time. When we measure time, incrementalize it, and plan it, we fool ourselves into thinking that we have a paltry amount of time to work with. From somatic experience though, we can learn that time is practically infinite, because each moment has infinite depth if we're fully present with it. If you doubt this statement, try a vision fast sometime (as hosted by Animas Valley Institute, School of Lost Borders, etc.).
Yes—lore includes ways to navigate and relate with time. But it is a lot of other things as well. Good lore becomes timeless. You cite gaming as one of your inspirations here. Are gamers looking for ways to "manage the minutes?" Overall, no—they're in a flow state, just enjoying the experience.
Great, as usual. about (faking) lore in fiction: would The Culture Series by Ian M. Banks and/or New Babylon by Constant Nieuwenhuys qualify?