Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks is the personal memoir of Ethan Gilsdorf, a former gamer struggling to discover the role fantasy plays in his life as well as society. He wonders if, “pervasive escapism has infantilized an entire generation” (22). Many of us ask ourselves the same question. Do we watch too much T.V., see too many movies, Eat too much junk food? Despite these concerns, we remain optimistic, that our fantasy worlds help us to find a better sense of self. This is the same complex Ethan faces as he asks Why Fantasy?
Ethan begins in Oxford, England, investigating the stomping grounds of J.R.R. Tolkien, he then attends a LARP (Live Action Role Play), Medieval Role Playing Games, Gaming Convention, and finally MiddleEarth itself; New Zealand. Look forward to charming characters throughout the story; who inspire hope in fantasy we all have. (Note: My favorite part is in Gilsdorf’s description of older D&D players as a herd of Santa’s, rushing from table to table at a convention). J.R.R. Tolkein believed society needed modern myths. Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks is a fascinating glimpse of why.