Escapism as a Positive

January 13, 2010 -

Using Avatar as a benchmark, a USA Today opinion piece praises the mainstream adoption of fantasy in media such as movies, novels and videogames.

The author wonders if the popularity of World of Warcraft, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter indicates that today’s society is obsessed with escapism, or the ability to leave the real-world behind for the chance to immerse oneself in a fantasy world.

The scribe answers with a resounding no, and offers a positive spin on the new state of geek (and gaming) culture:

I've met hundreds of gamers and geeks. Their reasons for embracing fantasy and gaming aren't about mindless escapism. Games teach social skills, leadership and strategy; they inspire creativity and storytelling.

They provide rites of passage, accomplishment and belonging, even belief systems. They let people safely try out aspects of their personalities — often dark, evil sides, or extroverted or flirtatious — that they can't or won't flex in "real life." The games connect folks to magical thinking, to nature, to a primal, pick-up-your-battle-ax and kill mentalities long suppressed by so-called society.


As an added bonus, the author writes, the ability to insert ourselves into a different world—even if only for a short time—allows us to mitigate the “minutiae of our modern, mundane troubles.”

Amen.


Comments

Re: Escapism as a Positive

I agree w/hellfire here. There is nothing wrong w/escapism. That reminds me of what I read in my Cosmopolitan magazine about how daydreaming is healthy for you b/c you think of diff ways to go about situations or think about your problems or what you will say to your boss about how to get a raise & so on. So escapism is good for everyone. I would rather be addicted to escapism in a game rather than worrying every single minute & day & hour about my problems I have. It is just like a drug only interactive & not hurting me. :)

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Escapism as a Positive

I'm getting the feeling that many anti game types do hate the escapism part. They know that escapism is a way to escape the stresses and depressing factors of the serious world, adn think we all need to be as serious, depressed and stressed as they are all the time.

Re: Escapism as a Positive

I think most people would already know this simple fact.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Escapism as a Positive

Hey "parents", what exactly is wrong with "escapism?"

Main Entry: es·cap·ism
Pronunciation: \is-ˈkā-ˌpi-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1933

: habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine

Sounds healthy to me.

Yes, I am a proud parent of two burgeoning (maybe a little skinny) gamers.

Re: Escapism as a Positive

I'm also the proud parent of 2 young gamers! we should have a play date! i've got a wii!

on topic though, i dont agree with this article at all. Escapism in MMO's exists because these games offer a world with rather simple and easy to control rules. If i play, i win. I know what it takes to get that next level, that next item, and it's very rarely that anyone can take that away from me. if i fail, i know why, and i know how to get better.

Compare that to real life, where i can get fired because the boss's wife doesn't like my haircut, and you start to realize why people are comforted to be in a world with simple rules.

Re: Escapism as a Positive

Was about to bring up that point myself, and how in the workaday your basicly expected to act like a meat robot with no intitive(sp?) or emotions except maybe the cheerfully helpful moron. No wonder people like to go online and blow the F(&K out of stuff. If I didn't I'd probably beat half the idiots i've dealt with working retail.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.
 
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Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
 

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