On today’s episode of Jargon Schmargon, we are going to talk about Escapism. Escapism
first came into the common vernacular in game studies as one of the primary motivations for game play as first outlined by Nick Yee in 2007 as a MMORPG play motivation. As defined by Yee, escapism is defined as the motivation to play to “relax, escape from the offline world, and avoid offline problems”. That last point is really the crux of it and largely why a motivation for “escapism” has traditionally been thought of as problematic.
Waremlink and colleagues (2009) take a more moderate approach to escapism, when they state:
“Escapism [can be] quite therapeutic when considered as a way of breaking the mundane. But the term is also used in highly negative discourse in describing situations where escapism is deemed to take on extreme forms. In the latter discourse, breaking the mundane is seen as leading to procrastination: excessive avoidance of activities that must be done.”
In this video, we will explore the discussion of escapism in game studies scholarship, examining both the positive and negative associations with this term and how it fits in to the broader picture of game play motivations.