Even though I've pretty much been a lifelong gamer, it has only recently dawned on me just how much our society ALREADY lives in a fantasy world. I'm talking about everyone, not just RPG-ers. Take a moment to think about all the ways we escape from our own lives either by absorbing escapist content or creating it ourselves.
I'm not talking about mere entertainment, I'm talking about experiences that put oneself mentally in a new space, either as yourself or by proxy. Spaces where you might rather be, even if only temporarily.
We hosted a Halloween murder mystery party this past October. Guess what we were doing. Pretending to be other people. Like usual.
Even the average daydream is an escape. How many of us daydream about what we are already doing in real life? I certainly hope none of us are daydreaming about sitting in a cubicle while already sitting in a cubicle. Even if our daydreams are about doing other boring things, it's still a fantastical escape from reality.
And of course we have to mention computer games. MMORPGS and others let us pretend to be someone else, or in some cases, worse versions of ourselves! Avatars everywhere.
Entire technologies are built around virtual and augmented reality, pulling us deeper into the other side. Or maybe our whole lives are already a simulation! A sim within a sim.
Children seem obsessed with living in a pretend world, playing all forms of heroes and villains as they race through yards or play with dolls and action figures. Did I mention LARPing?
Is it our culture that pushes us this way? Is it human nature? Are there cultures out there that only live in the now and never roleplay or pretend to be someone or something they are not?
I do know one thing. Real life may not always make me happy, but game night almost always does.
If you could press a button right now that allowed you to live in a perfectly visualized virtual world that was 100% realistic and presented everything you could ever want in life, but you could never come back to the real world, would you do it? Let us know.