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Poll: The Appeal of Fantasy  

139 members have voted

  1. 1. What about fantasy appeals to you?

    • "Wish fulfillment" in some form; I have the ability or power to do things in fantasy that I can't do in real life (i.e. magic).
      66
    • "Escapism"; fantasy allows me to have my own private "world", outside from the influence of life's struggles and/or other people.
      79
    • "Simulation"; fantasy serves as the ultimate thought experiment, case studies in which we can decide the rules that govern imaginary worlds.
      47
    • "Challenge"; fantasy as a genre can challenge our assumptions about "reality" (which we otherwise take for granted) in a valuable way.
      58
    • "Novelty"; I find fantasy interesting simply because imagination can make reality look boring in comparison.
      65
    • "Just world", in fantasy everyone can/will get what they deserve, whereas reality can be unfair in its randomness.
      20
    • There's an additional reason for my interest in fantasy that doesn't fall under any of the above (please describe).
      20
    • I'm not actually particularly attached to fantasy genre; I simply tolerate it because it apparently includes most good RPGs.
      22
    • Fantasy offers a lot of narrative flexibility, allowing us to explore cross-cultural archetypes in an abstracted/generalized setting.
      70


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For me the main appeal of fantasy has always been the way it holds a mirror to our world. My favorite fantasy books and films capture something crucial about us, while putting it in a wild and weirdly different context that makes some salient features stand out, or shows them in a new light. Same for sci-fi.

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To me it's a mixture out of lots of these things. The most important part for me is/I'm mainly interested in great stories/adventures, so I'll be into any setting that offers just that. It surprises me to realize this, but at least part of why I like fantasy, is serously that I played so many good games that were fantasy, this made me associate positive things with the genre. I'm glad there's finally a game coming that actually counts as high fantasy and is not just about some dudes with swords and maybe some of them can do something "magicky" too... It requires more than just that. It's like a democracy needs more than just allowing citizens to vote. There's also stuff like freedom of speech neccessary etc...

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I suppose my preference fits the escapism option to a tee. The main thing I enjoy about genre fiction is agency - it is much easier to 'do' things, whether they are grand story arcs or something as mundane as looting a person's house without fear of meaningful consequences. I'm not sure that this is entirely a power-fantasy, as the things I enjoy doing are often ridiculously mundane or even undesirable to do in real life (for example, sneaking around sewers).

I feel that this type of activity simply cannot work as well within a non-fantasy (or sci-fi/what-have-you) setting, as essentially this is either unrealistic behaviour - achieving things at a superhero-style rate that is jarring compared to our own experiences of reality; or sufficiently psychopathic enough for the game to require systems to discourage you from doing certain things - something which in a low-technology or dystopian setting, there is less dissonance with allowing people to do.

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I voted challenge and wish fulfillment. I could post a long rant about why, but In the end it boils down to the fact that swords and magic is SO MUCH COOLER than guns and soldiers.

I've thought about it for a bit, and the reasons for liking magic are obvious. I am a sorcerer, after all. Just imagine what you could do with a dnd level-one wizard in the real world. You could do anything!

Swords are harder to pin down. Perhaps it's the way it looks, though I'm not convinced by my own argument here. People move a lot more and it more interesting ways when in close combat, but when you shoot a gun you just point and shoot. Perhaps it's that- the "dancing" element. But like I said, I donut that's all. More likely, it's just the culmination of my experience. I grow up reading Tolkien and playing bg, I like a fantasy setting over a modern one. We are but the culmination of our experiences, after all.

Though I prefer realistic fantasy. I like magic, but it has to be explained. It don't like the Dues ex Machina "a wizard did it", and I don't like stupid fantasy. Chainmail bikinis, 2 meter saw blades as swords and inconsistent or completely absurd magic I find incredibly irritating(hello, anime).

See I don't like it when the laws of physics are broken outright- just bent out of shape a little.

Mage conjuring a monster out of thin air- I can deal with it. I fantasy world with complete realism is boring

Superman holding up the Empire State building upside down by the radio tower- not so much.

It's simply a matter of suspending disbelief. I'm nitpicking and scientific, so when I see either plot or mechanical inconsistencies or absurdities it breaks immersion for me. This generally gets me slapped in movies, but I'm going to the special hell anyway:P

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