The Theory of Institutional Change as elaborated by Paul D. Bush (1983, 1987) in the tradition of Thorstein Veblen, Clarence Ayres, and John F. Foster (“VAFB paradigm”) provided a central device for institutional analysis, both theoretical and empirical, with its clarification of the value bases and of different forms and dynamics of behaviors and value-behavior patterns (V-Bs). Particularly Bush’s 1987 paper pushed Institutionalism to a certain limit by elaborating the logical V-B relations and their change, which had been underexplored for long. Coming from a different “galaxy”, a critical formal approach, such as game theory (GT) – often applied only bluntly in the economics mainstream – has been applied by institutional and evolutionary economists in an evolutionary-institutional perspective in the last three decades, in order to close methodological gaps and to further operationalize, formalize, and develop Institutionalism. This paper strives to demonstrate that a proper interpretation allows bridging the institutionalist theory of institutional change and an evolutionary-institutional interpretation of GT (EIGT). It reveals surprising equivalences and complementarities with potential future synergies. It allows for a deeper analysis of institutions, revealing the value base in EIGT, and a deeper analysis of the instrumental-ceremonial asymmetry and of related ceremonial dominance and encapsulation. So Institutionalism might cut across traditional boundaries with respect to deeper analyses.