Saturday, 27 December 2008
Sitting on the sofa watching hubby completely engrossed in his game of Star Wars Lego I began to wonder, why do we hanker after imaginary worlds so much? Every form of entertainment seems to be about escaping our real lives, our real personas and becoming someone else, or living a different life. Why don’t we just get up and become these people that we want to be? I know that in many cases the problem lies in the fact that we are not living in Victorian Britain, or the outer reaches of the Barnard star complex (or whatever it is in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). But you just begin to question the sense in playing tennis on the Wii. Why not go out with your friends and play tennis? I appreciate that escapism has to play a part in our lives. I for one am never happier than when snuggled up with a historic novel, or reading about people from bygone eras and for my brother-in-law the same is true of science fiction. The thing with that is that it is forward looking, so perhaps a less dangerous form of escapism? With science-fiction, where so much of the writing is about predicting the future and imagining how things could be. And in many cases science fiction writing leads to genuine research and development of new technology. I'm sure if I could be bothered to do the research I would be able to find many examples of mobile phones, laptops and GPS in the pages of science fiction novels, long before they were a reality. I have heard many people say that Star Trek suggested many modern day realities. So, it's not this kind of escapism that I object to. It's the virtual reality that I have trouble understanding. Many people would cite shyness, or lack of confidence as the reason for their inability to show the same personality in real life as they do in Second Life or any of the similar online worlds. Fair enough, but isn't it time that we began to embrace who we actually are, and found ways of improving ourselves (if that is what we want) and grabbing opportunities in the real world? Maybe I'm full of new year hope and joy. Maybe I'll feel differently in a couple of weeks, but right now I want to make the most of myself and be the very best that I can be in this world, not in a virtual world.