Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other
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Fantasy. Sci-Fi. Role-playing games. Tens of millions of people around the globe today turn away from the 'real' world to inhabit others. The online game World of Warcraft has alone lured nearly twelve million users. Who are these game-players and fantasy fans? What explains the irresistible appeal of such escapist adventures? And what could one man find if he embarked on a quest through fantasy world after fantasy world? In an enthralling blend of travelogue, pop culture analysis, and memoir, former role- player Ethan Gilsdorf crisscrosses America, the world, and other worlds, from Boston to California, New Zealand to France, Planet Earth to the realm of Aggramar. He asks gam ing and fantasy geeks how they balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of adulthood. He seeks out those who dream of elves, long swords, and heroic deeds. He hangs out with Harry Potter tribute bands. He goes to fan conventions. He battles online goblins, trolls, and sorcerers. He camps with medieval reenactors. He becomes Ethor, Ethorian, and Ethor- An3. What he discovers is funny, poignant, and enlightening.