The Problems of Researching ‘Escapism’

May 22, 2007

I want to explain in a little more detail what I mean by researching ‘escapism’, because otherwise this blog might get a bit confusing.

I’m a big fan of Henry Jenkins’ writings particularly his concept of the ‘aca/fan’, and although I’m not an academic, I am by profession a consumer researcher (my academic background is in archaeology and anthropology) and the research I do here will often have a commercial angle, at the same time I’m writing as a fan/player/reader of the subject of my research. As Henry explains, in academia this cross-over is frowned upon by many and although this is probably less the case in commercial research it still lingers in the background (for a very interesting debate on this subject see Florence Chee’s post on Terra Nova)

The purpose of this preamble is to explain that there is effectively two sides to this blog:
The first is the more commercial angle, where I’ll be posting my thoughts/research findings from MMORPGs/Virtual Worlds such as World of Warcraft, Second Life and Lord of the Rings Online. I see these worlds as the most contemporary form of escapism and also as places of increasing interest to businesses.

The second is my more personal interest in the concept and ‘practice’ of escapism – a pretentious way of saying fantasy and sci-fi media – which  is something I’m just very interested in but could also beI  tied in with understanding MMORPGs/virtual worlds.

In amongst all this there will be random tangentially related bits and pieces such as my artwork, music I like etc.

So this blog could work and be really interesting or it could fail and be totally chaotic and confusing – we’ll soon see!

Anyway I think ‘escapism’ covers most if not all aspects of this blog so I’m sticking with it for now.


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