Why Do People Keep Saying We Need More Escapism?

Cicada 5

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I frequently see this phrase or variations of it popping up online. " We need more escapism in our fiction " and stuff like that. I often find myself rather confused by this statement as it seems to me we aren't lacking escapism at all. Disney alone provides enough escapism to last us til the end of the human race. So what is this lack of escapism people are complaining about?
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Because humans are idiots and the internet gives them a platform to air their most idiotic thoughts without worry of oversight, consequences and responsibility. That's my idiotic human bear thought about it anyway.

If they really want more escapism, then it sounds like they should invest in Hallucinogens, Dissociatives, Opioids and other colourful philosophical nutritions, as evidently their current choices just aren't doing it anymore.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

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Yeah, I disagree. We have plenty of escapism. Which is alright by me, I enjoy a good comedy, I enjoy a good action movie, I'm just about the only person who still like Star Wars, there's absolutely a place for all of that. But what we need, right now, in particular, isn't more escapism, it's more media that challenges us. And we need to engage with that media. I think if anything we're oversaturated with escapism so that anything that challenges us doesn't have much of a chance. Hell, media that is normally escapist and easy to follow often gets called out on not being safe and predictable enough. See the reaction to Batman v Superman and Star Wars: Last Jedi. So, no, we need to have our sensiblities challenged more often when we're starting to find Batman and Star Wars too subversive.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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I think it's unhealthy personally. Pure escapism fuel is kind of deleterious for maturity, also arguably for your psychological health. Media should challenge your expectations, it should confront you with subtext, and it should give you allegory in order to give an artist an outlet to be artistic.

Sure, I like LotR as muchas the next person ... but I disagree with Tolkien's attitude to allegory. Allegory is a healthy addition to writing, because it helps remove the artist from pure narration. As historiography is to history, subtext and arguments as to greater quandaries of existence elevates maturity and consciousness of what's being written.

There's a place for pure escapism fuel ... but then again this is why capitalism is poisonous to artistic rendition. If that's all on offer, and it's all that seeks to be digested, and if pure narration is all that can be expected to be consumed ... it's pure commodification.

There's a difference between 'fun' and 'rewarding'.
 

Canadamus Prime

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This is news to me, but considering the level of stupidity floating around the internet this is positively mild.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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For me, I do not like the " dark" theme that pretty much overwhelms most everything right now and would like " hope" rather than just "escapism". It seems that much of what brought up imagined grand futures such as envisioned in Star Trek has fallen away and everyone is focused on destruction and desolation which not only do I find boring and bleak but lacking in creativity and far too easy to do... It feels terribly lazy. Where is all the independent and unique scenarios of an amazing future where we utilize technology to save the world and make everything amazing?

It reminds me of the plot in Tommorrowland where all people can focus on is destruction so they will make it happen faster:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1964418/

Now the movie itself was not good, the plot and story were greatly lacking, however there were some things about it that I would love to see more of. The " future city" itself was pretty interesting, as well as the imagined inventions. I would love to see more of that and less destruction. I want to see more of how humankind pulls together and accomplishes goals rather than constantly trying to fight for power and control. I want to see more imagined " good" futures where people actually manage to overcome and create something wonderful instead. I also dislike the focus on "concrete and steel" cities, but instead having society advance beyond that to more like "wakanda" where it is a waterfall on the outside but high tech inside. I would like to see more jungle like future cities, where it is beautiful, not just environmentally friendly, but environmentally promoting and super technical and advanced at same time rather than being forced to be either/or. Instead of tall concrete and steel appearing structures, our skyscrapers are waterfalls and/or alive with plants and trees. More like a high tech "garden of Eden" where the world is beautiful, clean and advanced. A future where mankind actually manage to take care of the earth, and everything else within reach instead of just trying to destroy and "take". I hate desolate, destroyed, desert or concrete settings, and yearn for more of a lush green " shire" setting from the Hobbit. The bad desolation and destruction themes these days are awful, why would I want to be there physically or mentally?

My "Escapism" is more about trying to find hope for a better future. I do think that if we had more of that in our media, we might actually be able to inspire more people to be willing to help create it.

I also see other "need" for escapism in media and games for those whose reality IS one that they do need a genuine reprieve from. Prior to my father Passing, he was paralyzed. He could only use his eyes to have any sort of life at all, so I convinced a developer to sell me a "not released to the public" at the time eye tracking device that I was able to hook up to a tablet that allowed him to browse the internet, play games and communicate better with others. This was his only escape from his terminal reality at the time and I don't think people can fully understand how much being able to escape one's reality may be so very vital for some whose realities need to be escaped in order to retain any sort of feeling of even being considered a " person" in their own mind.

I believe having a positive relief, happiness, hope or "escape" in media is important to help people have a break from the stress of their actual situations they are forced to endure and focusing on the negative is also terribly unhealthy, and has a huge impact on ones physical health, but also increases the negativity of society and the future in general as well reduces productivity and drive by fueling hopelessness rather than inspiring people to want to achieve more by giving them a future to look forward to. When you promote a positive future, you are also giving people an achievable goal they can hope to work to attain.
 

Cicada 5

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Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
But you could just not watch GoT and Waych something like Supergirl or Legends of Tomorrow. And instead of playing House Party, you could play a Mario game, a Pokemon game, literally any game that had nothing to do with sexual assault.

If you don't like something, ignore it.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
I think it's unhealthy personally. Pure escapism fuel is kind of deleterious for maturity, also arguably for your psychological health. Media should challenge your expectations, it should confront you with subtext, and it should give you allegory in order to give an artist an outlet to be artistic.

Sure, I like LotR as muchas the next person ... but I disagree with Tolkien's attitude to allegory. Allegory is a healthy addition to writing, because it helps remove the artist from pure narration. As historiography is to history, subtext and arguments as to greater quandaries of existence elevates maturity and consciousness of what's being written.

There's a place for pure escapism fuel ... but then again this is why capitalism is poisonous to artistic rendition. If that's all on offer, and it's all that seeks to be digested, and if pure narration is all that can be expected to be consumed ... it's pure commodification.

There's a difference between 'fun' and 'rewarding'.
Actually it is Stress, not " escapism" ( which is actually a means to provide stress relief) that is bad for one's health.

https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body#1

Of course people should not ignore their problems, but finding more means to reduce stress is a good thing, not bad. Most people do not have the luxury of having too much happiness or laughter in their lives and could use more.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
 

Cicada 5

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Lil devils x said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
But as I said before, we already do have a lot of escapist fiction. People just have to notice it. If you keep paying attention to dark, deconstructive content, you're only sending the message that it's what you want. Creators wouldn't keep putting out that kind of stuff if audiences didn't keep tuning in for it.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Jun 17, 2009
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Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
If that is what they are talking about then I kinda agree. Entertainment has gotten kinda dark and miserable. And I really hate dark and miserable.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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Lil devils x said:
Samtemdo8 said:
I don't want too much escapism in my entertainment.
Isn't that what LOTR and the Fantasy genre in general is? I think you may want more of it than you realize. :)
Even those things would deal with issues that is relevant to the real world. I mean Warhammer Fantasy is more or less heavily fantasied real world earth.

And I am sure you know of my like of the Mafia/Crime genre of Movies.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
But as I said before, we already do have a lot of escapist fiction. People just have to notice it. If you keep paying attention to dark, deconstructive content, you're only sending the message that it's what you want. Creators wouldn't keep putting out that kind of stuff if audiences didn't keep tuning in for it.
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
 

EvilRoy

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I think you're taking the complaint to be a reference to the volume of media as opposed to a reference to the opportunity to partake. On your average weekday I spend around 10 hours working on computers and having unpleasant arguments involving far too much money, then I go home and make supper for an hour, then I dick around for about 2 more, then I go to bed.

When I ask for more escapism, I'm asking for a more effective means of stress reduction for my two hours. Alternative, I'm asking for less stress during my work hours (breaks, conversations, whatever). I'm aware that there is a significant volume of escapist media available, barring all the dark, stressful humans-all-suck stuff I have to filter out now.

Its a very nice idea to ask for more media engagement, but if you want me to do that then you're going to have to find me some extra time to do it in, because I'm out as of right now. Or I guess you could pay me for it, but I have a non-compete so I probably couldn't take you up on it anyway.
 

vallorn

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I think the Escapism is more a call for not having real life dragged into fantasy worlds. Mostly because it's usually done in a really cackhanded way that makes the original work worse. People don't want to be reminded of Media Talking Point #341 or whatever while they are enjoying another world. For example, I like Warhammer 40k, one of the things that's good about it is the universe is pretty isolated, it's flexible enough for almost any story to be told in it but it doesn't need daily problems like wages or whatever thrown in when there are people trying to survive a tyranid invasion or hunting down a chaos cult.

Allegory is a whole other thing, you can make allegories or symbolism work really well, but that's not what usually happens nowadays, you get direct references to politics or talking points and it drags people out of the story.
 

vallorn

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Lil devils x said:
Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
But as I said before, we already do have a lot of escapist fiction. People just have to notice it. If you keep paying attention to dark, deconstructive content, you're only sending the message that it's what you want. Creators wouldn't keep putting out that kind of stuff if audiences didn't keep tuning in for it.
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
That's because all Utopias are just Dystopias with good PR. As an example, Plato's Republic is his ideal society, including all powerful monarchs, a hyper rigid caste system, and organized, widespread slavery. It's pretty dystopian. Now look at the dystopias that arise whenever people take political or religious ideology as a blueprint for a utopia.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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vallorn said:
Lil devils x said:
Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
But as I said before, we already do have a lot of escapist fiction. People just have to notice it. If you keep paying attention to dark, deconstructive content, you're only sending the message that it's what you want. Creators wouldn't keep putting out that kind of stuff if audiences didn't keep tuning in for it.
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
That's because all Utopias are just Dystopias with good PR. As an example, Plato's Republic is his ideal society, including all powerful monarchs, a hyper rigid caste system, and organized, widespread slavery. It's pretty dystopian. Now look at the dystopias that arise whenever people take political or religious ideology as a blueprint for a utopia.
Those are just more dystopias..
The idea that it has to be bad IS the problem here. Why cant it be a democracy who actually focused their efforts on taking care of the earth and all who live in it? IDK why everyone assumes people can only do bad things or there has to be some ulterior motive or "need" to harm others. There are plenty of people in groups who choose to do good things instead, and we see that as very lacking in media.