There have been times I wish I didn’t have a lot I was interested in like anime, manga, video games, classic literature, comic books, and writing. I often thought it would be easier if I just had less to focus my attention on during my downtime. I still think that way, but having your hand in so many pots does come in handy when you’re suddenly thrust into a global health crisis no one could have ever saw coming.
I’ve written about how some escapism is necessary right now to cope with the uncertainty we’re living in. It keeps you sane and prevents you from unraveling. The past four months in lockdown has me turning to fantasy as a way of dealing with a world that no longer looks familiar.
The fantasy genre is the ultimate great escape. The worlds are strange and exotic enough to feel different, but not completely unlike our own that it’s impossible to identify with the characters and issues inhabiting that landscape.
The proliferation of fantasy movies and shows cropping up all over Netflix lately—The Witcher, The Old Guard, Cursed—are feeding people’s need to step away from our current and stressful reality. As much as I want to watch a documentary about injustices happening in our world or see a dramatic performance by an Oscar winning actor or actress, I find I can’t really stomach it right now. The news is already depressing. I could use a break from the doom scrolling I already do on my social media feeds daily.
There’s something comforting about getting lost in a fantasy. Every story always has a battle between good versus evil, whether it’s a book you’re reading or a video game you’re playing. The hero or heroine is confronted with impossible odds, but no matter what they’re facing they somehow come out of it and triumph. Sometimes, you like knowing what kind of story you’re going to get. Despite the hardships the characters are dealing with, you know they’re going to be okay.
Unfortunately, reality doesn’t always work the same way as it does in books, movies, or games. Evil sometimes wins, and not everyone lives happily ever after. Real life can deal you a bad hand, and there’s no magical cure all that will come fix your problems.
What makes fantasy so enticing to me, and it’s not because I’m working on a YA fantasy (but it’s part of it), is that sense of hope. Hope for a better future and a world where the bad guys pay for their injustices and crimes. We need these fantastical stories more than ever to remind us of what the world could be if we believe in ourselves, and become the forces of change and good we would like to see.
The current state of our world may be cloaked in what feels like an endless stretch of darkness with no end in sight, but I still hold out for the day when the fantasy stories I adore so much will have some of that hope and optimism rub off on our reality. We all know we could use it right now after the year we’ve been having so far.
Are there books, movies, shows, or video games in the fantasy genre you’re enjoying right now?
8 thoughts on “Why I’ve Been Gravitating Towards The Fantasy Genre During This Chaotic Time”
I’ve just finished watching The Witcher and loved it. Am more of a sci-fi guy myself, but whenever I need my fantasy fix I just pick up one of Brandon Sanderson’s or Robert Jordan’s books. Those ought to keep me occupied for a while.
The Witcher is a great series! I decided to finally play Witcher 2 after finishing the show. And sci-fi is another good escapist genre to step out of reality for a little while. I’ve always been more of a fantasy lover than sci-fi, but I can appreciate an occasional engrossing story from that genre too.
My defacto escapism remains Dragon Age Inquisition. It’s amazing how better you feel when societal fractures can be resolved with a paragon led conversation and all viruses are easily solved by herbs and crystals 😏
If only the real world can be easily remedied in the same way, right? 🙂 Probably why Dragon Age will be one of my absolute all-time favorite video games I’ve played. If there was ever one video game series I could only play for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Magic, dragons, and sword fights—what’s not to love?
I’ve been leaning hard into The Elder Scrolls Online lately. Laid-back questing in a high fantasy world is feeding some necessary escapism right now. 😊
Haha, yes, I remember all your posts about mostly playing Elder Scrolls these days. 🙂 I really do think fantasy games can be comforting when the world outside feels so scary to deal with. I definitely feel a little better after reading a a book, playing a game, or watching a movie/show that’s in the fantasy genre. I guess you can say fantasy can be some people’s happy place. It’s certainly mine!
The pandemic has shut down libraries (with the exception of the one library that you reserve stuff online and then can get the books delivered to you, but since I prefer browsing the shelves for things to pick up and I have a table’s worth of accumulated reading material, I haven’t used it). I’ve been devouring lots of anime and manga instead, plus playing gacha games to fill the time – my anime club moved to Discord and lately I’ve been checking out legal manga-reading websites/apps in Japanese (which is not my native language, so I take a while to read it), so I won’t be running out of either any time soon. I also get easily addicted to things because of my “I’ll work at something until I get X” work ethic, which is its own double-edged sword.
On the topic of fantasy stuff, I finished CCS (original) recently after several years of it lying in my watching list…(now I gotta finish Clear Card…)
Staying home during this pandemic is the perfect time to binge watch CCS! Probably one of my absolute favorite fantasy type shows, and it has that feel good vibe that the world is really lacking right now. I enjoyed Clear Card immensely and really hope we’ll get a Season 2 soon!