Children play to emulate adults. As adults we play to escape reality. Many of us would jump at the chance to be back in the old family home, playfighting care free wars with friends, role playing apocalyptic scenarios of space ships and fire breathing dragons. Back then of course it was acceptable to roll around in mud and sneak into the neighbours garden.
In adulthood we lose this spark. Although it is true that we try to escape reality in many ways, we embrace normality. A parallel universe of which nothing much changes. Take soap operas for example, I find it tragic how popular they are. I don’t have the right to tell people what to watch, but as we get older we simply satisfied to merely escape reality when a lot of reality is in fact much more thrilling.
After a stressful day, we get home to watch fictional shows with people living very modest fictional lives. These lives vary little to our own. The characters mingle in streets for small talk, have the odd argument and when they really try to bring the entertainment, the occasional affair or murder. If this is our attempt to escape reality we aren’t showing much ambition.
There is currently a TV show running in the UK consisting of people sitting at home, watching TV whilst we observe their reactions. We watch people watching TV. The saving grace is that some of the shows being watched are fascinating, such as nature documentaries.
In a universe potentially endless in possibility, we don’t need to escape reality to relive those blockbuster childhood fantasies or visions of the future. Maybe an existential crisis results in one searching for a more ‘normal’ escape from reality, one that little bit more interesting than our own everyday lives such as a soap opera.
Natures has incredible entertainment value, escaping reality into an mundane fictional universe is to underestimate this. The grass is not always greener on the other side.