Kylee Keenan - KY_08
journey log #1
Why are we drawn to fantasy/why does it appeal to us?
Christine Folch, an assistant professor of anthropology at Wheaton College, and Mark Chadbourn, an award-winning screenwriter and author provide their own input into why we are so engrossed in the genre of fantasy. Chadbourn argues that the more rational our world becomes, the more we want to delve into works that are irrational. Folch provides a similar claim that the world we live in “feels explainable, predictable, and boring . . . leading to a widespread loss of a sense of wonder and magic” (Folch). We then choose to turn to fantasy and fiction “in an attempt to re-enchant the world” (Folch).
The reason I chose this concept that was discussed in our reading, “Exploring,” is because I myself am a lover of fictional books. As I skimmed quickly over the question asked in the reading of why we are drawn to the extraordinary, or things outside our world, I paused to ask myself the same question. I never really had reflected upon why these novels are what appeal to me.
During my research, I realized that this question has not only been asked by myself but has also been discussed among large amounts of other individuals. Many different viewpoints are presented, but these two proposed by Folch and Chadbourn resonated with me the most. I do agree with their ideas on why we have fallen in love with the fantasy appeal. I think that because our world has become so focused on things like the economy, science, and secularism, we would like to escape for just a little while. Fictional texts are often filled with thrill, romance, and danger, and I believe these things distract us from the issues that are taking place in the environment around us.
Dr. John M. Grohol describes a study completed where 2,550 video game players, age fourteen and older, were interviewed and examined. He begins by explaining the usual stereotype of gamers and how they are often seen as slothful, overweight, or socially awkward. He then transitions into the results of the research, which claims that “there is little empirical evidence relating the broader online gaming population, and the validity of the stereotype of this group . . . online players do not seems to be more lazy, overweight, or unathletic than nonplaying participants” (Kowert, Festl, Quandt).
As I listened to “I am a Gamer” for the homework assignment, I heard the positive aspects that come of gaming. Also, I recognized that I fall victim to stereotyping or profiling those who participate in this activity. I chose to discuss this particular concept because in that short moment while watching the video, I realized I am truly at fault with these thoughts. It is not fair for me to stereotype someone who chooses to play these videogames just as much as it is not fair for me to profile someone who participates in a certain type of religion. These are people’s choices and I must respect their decisions, while also ignoring ideas that may only be true of one percent of that population. The research is immense on this topic; I think it is important that those of us, including myself, who are quick to judge those who play videogames, should make a strong effort to educate ourselves in this realm that is unfamiliar to us.
Chadbourn, Mark. "The Fantastic Appeal of Fantasy." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 12 Apr. 2008. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.
Folch, Christine. "Why the West Loves Sci-Fi and Fantasy: A Cultural Explanation. “The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 13 July 2013. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.
Grohol, John M., Psy.D. "Gamer Stereotypes Just Aren’t True." World of Psychology. Psych Central, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.