Jennifer Dixon asked on twitter:
Gaming as escapism. Do you game to escape your reality. Is that healthy / unhealthy? How does gaming improve your life?
Yeah, the whole escapism thing bugs me. More often than not, when I’ve gamed with folks who have had really stressful jobs or stress in their lives, it comes out at the table, through the fiction.
Hopefully, it comes out in cool, fruitful ways. There’s goofy fun too, games aren’t therapy but they are a way of processing the shit going on around us. That isn’t saying much, everything we do is a way of processing the shit around us, from bowling to painting. Thinking that we can escape from our lives through fantasy is like saying that a fish can escape from water by blowing bubbles.
Orcs, dragons and demons aren’t scary. Tax forms are fucking scary. Sometimes life is just easier to stare down when you stick a big, floppy wizard’s hat on it and dress it up in magical robes.
“I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”
— J.R.R. Tolkien
Great quote, Brand.