The Great Escape: Video Games and Escapism

We all know how great this past year has been. A global pandemic, draconian lock downs, civil unrest, etc. When the world plunges itself into utter and nearly inescapable chaos, where do people have left to turn? One method is escapism.

What is escapism?

Escapism is best defined as using fantasy or imagination to distract yourself from reality. At its core, escapism provides humanity a way to look away from their troubles and stresses, even if only for a fleeting moment. In some ways, it’s an essential part of life because it lets people cope with the negative aspects of their real lives.

However, too much escapism can be a detrimental thing. There’s a difference in indulging in escapist fantasy occasionally and literally living in a fantasy world. Escaping reality shouldn’t come at the cost of living your actual life. Though, that’s enough of my personal advice for one post.

Aside from that, at its most basic, escapism could be seen as idly daydreaming. However, it can take many forms: music, books, television/film, writing, art, or even sports. The form of escapism I’m interested in discussing here is, surprisingly enough, the world of video games.

How are video games an escape?

Video games provide a fantasy for players to partake in. This fantasy is all dependent on the person, though. Some wish to slay dragons and explore a vast open world. Others may just want to race around in luxury cars and wreak havoc in the city. Fortunately, video games offer a rich and diverse selection of worlds to explore, all with their own unique stories. I’d argue that there are games out there for everyone to enjoy, it just takes a little looking.

While this is all well and good, exactly how are video games an escape? Again, it’s all about appealing to the individual’s fantasies. Games allow players to actively engage in that fantasy, creating a stronger escapist experience overall. The level of need or want to see those fantasies satisfied is going to vary depending upon the person. When those are fulfilled, a game has done its job.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’d say video games are my go-to form of escapism. They provide just enough of an interactive fantasy that other mediums don’t. However, that isn’t to discredit other methods of escapism. That brings me to my question for the week: what are your favorite ways to escape reality? Let me know in the comments! Until next time my fellow nerds, peace.

4 thoughts on “The Great Escape: Video Games and Escapism”

  1. Hi! I absolutely love escaping into video games as well. I recently bought a Switch and have been playing it when I want to relax and unwind. Great post!

  2. I also escape with video games. I look forward to playing every day and my girlfriend and I try to play one game together every day. It’s a great way for us to decompress.

  3. I would agree, video games are my favorite way of escapism too. There fantastic way to live in a world with unbelievable possibilities. Some of the games I play are Dragon Quest, Assassins Creed, and final fantasy.

  4. Playing video games is a really good way to escape. Video games are really fun. They help me forget about my worries for a short period of time, which is nice.

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