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thomwong
31-10-2011, 09:51 PM
As posted on warrenellis.com.

http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=13469


We Are The Escapists
Could there be a connection between what motivates us see a movie or play Tetris on a train, and the what caused evolution of humans from wandering tribes to civilised city-dwellers? Could the impulse that drove our ancestors to create shelter from the raw materials of the world around them be the same impulse that causes you to want to read a novel or follow a TV series? I think there is a connection, and it is found in an under-identified human fundamental: escapism.

BobsLawnService
01-11-2011, 03:51 AM
Erm, that sounds a bit odd and I'm not sure I'm buying it. The drive to find real world shelter and protection from the elements is the same as the drive to escape from reality? One need is firmly grounded in reality the other fantasy. Sounds like a real stretched premise.

DigitalSignalX
01-11-2011, 04:09 AM
Without having RTFA I'd have to agree at first impulse. Having removed ourselves from the relative dangers of the world via safe shelter, we took to cave painting. We started spending more time making tools. We found creative outlets to pass the time between hunting, foraging and between inclement weather. I'd rather be playing Skyrim then sitting in the chill of the night huddled for warmth :)

Jockie
04-11-2011, 12:40 PM
Games as cultural anthropology then. I am not sure that it is necessarily escapism (at least not solely) that drives these things though. People use culture to ally themselves with certain groups or causes as part of fitting in with society.

Like people who go out of their way to identify with certain bands and whatnot, it's not (just) because that band's music helps them 'escape' so much as it helps them become part of a subset of people that share values and tastes. But can that apply to gamers as well? I mean why would people want to attach themselves to a 'gamer' culture, considering we're all horrible and shout at each other over the internet.

Look forward to reading the book.

golden_worm
04-11-2011, 01:56 PM
Erm, that sounds a bit odd and I'm not sure I'm buying it. The drive to find real world shelter and protection from the elements is the same as the drive to escape from reality? One need is firmly grounded in reality the other fantasy. Sounds like a real stretched premise.

I think I could go along with it. If you imagine the first person to build a shelter, for them it was a fantasy, until they made it a reality. The ability to put the world inside your head and play with it is what gives us plans, strategies and concepts that we can then reapply to reality.

Also we can see this in shell shock victims, when an experience is really traumatic the "escapist" mind traps the subject in the moment and repeats it over and over looking for a way out. The reality of the danger is gone but the "escapism" urge is stronger than the present experience.