It was like four-dimensional chess setting things up so Rich could say something like this.
I don't know how many games actually use pickaxes and have mines. Obviously, there's Minecraft, but while it's possible to be without a pickaxe and regret it in that game, it's more the norm to have one than not.
George is referring more to games in which pickaxes are entirely optional items, and you could regret choosing to not bring one somewhere it would be very situationally useful.
The one game I AM aware of where you can optionally carry an otherwise-useless pickaxe around is Skyrim, a game I keep going back to because I find it relaxing, and I can just play it while listening to other things. It's like the equivalent of a relatively high tech fidget toy.
And yes, I have found gold ore veins before, and not had a pickaxe.
Part of me wants to make a character who just dual-wields pickaxes, specializes in enchanting to make them actually function in combat, and whoops I thought of yet another character build to play as I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend.