In Their Own Words: The Immersion Component
The flip side of fantasy immersion is escapism - a desire to leave a world behind together with its problems.
Escape is the main reason I got into these games in the first place. An argument at home or a problem with a girl or difficult school work, for me, can be easily forgotten or put aside if I can log into my character for a while and perform whatever that characters job is with finesse. It feels good to succeed, and for some people like myself it feels good to succeed in a virtual world too. [EQ2, M, 22]
I have a high-stress technical job. I've been a gamer since I was five years old (thanks to my dad being an arcade manager for awhile). Gaming has always, /always/ been a source of stress-relief for me. It was when I was young and it has continued as I've grown older. I have used gaming to avoid thinking about real-life problems before, but that's just an avoidant behavior - putting things off doesn't make a problem go away. In many ways it's the same kind of escapism that alcoholics engage in, albeit without the propensity for chemical dependancy (though perhaps a very similar addictive effect). More often than not, I will still game when I've got a lot on my mind -- at the least I can ask my social network of fellow gamers to help me work out a problem that I may not be able to handle on my own. [FFXI, M, 25]
i started playing mmorpg games (primairly FFXI) as an escape.. a way to deal with the stress i was having. I don't do drugs, i don't smoke, i don't drink... so gaming was my method of escape... i loved being immersed in the virtual world and playing a role (i was a white mage ... level 67). i loved playing the role of a magician/healer ... working together as a team and having everyone involved play the very best they could.... it was so much fun! [WoW, F, 30]
To speed up load-times on multi-page articles, comments are now only loaded on the last page of an article.