If you want to escape reality, you have a lot of help. There are many industries ready to free your mind as they take your money — the gaming-industry is one of them. The global video game revenue was around $180 billion in 2020, making it a bigger moneymaker than the worldwide movie and North American sports industries combined.

Many youths (and adults, too) spend money and hours blowing up buildings or swimming oceans or building castles using nothing more than a joystick or a mouse. And they do it all without any sense of responsibility to get dressed, go upstairs, walk outside, be a human, and discover how great it is to be a living soul. Their escapism causes them to make three life-deadening mistakes:

Their first mistake is to feed the sense of meaninglessness. Many believe that all humans are accidents of a mindless, godless, helter-skelter incident. If you think you were nowhere before you got here and that once you’re gone, you’ll return to the nowhere you came from, why bother to create any meaning for the time you’re here?

It’s much to hide in front of a computer fantasy game than deal with important questions like who am I and why am I here. Stare at the screen and allow your self-awareness to fade; the action hero of your fantasy will be better than any dream you might have. And for certain, don’t even try to converse with another equally useless human. If nothing’s real, you might as well escape the present moment and imagine your own world. Don’t run from problems that need solving; simply ignore them.

Their second mistake is to numb the heart to love. Escapism is a way to distract yourself from disagreeable people around you and the inevitable disappointments of human relationships. If the girls in the seventh grade hated you, all girls are bad, so stay away from girls. If the jocks in high school bullied you, all guys are jerks, so stay away from the guys. If your parents rag on you to do something worthwhile, turn your back on them; after all, what do they know about life? Escape to the basement. Walk “The Streets of Rage Part 4” or fly the skies with “Microsoft Flight Simulator,” or work alone in your cubicle at the office.

You have now escaped from life; you are neither loved nor loveable. The sad truth is, you will never be loved if you’re living alone on Fantasy Island. Love does not show up in the headset of a fast-moving computer game; no matter how many virtual islands you blow up or how many simulated battles you win, you are still alone. The truth is, love is a two-way deal that involves a giver and a receiver — both living, not virtual.

The third mistake escapism produces is a denial of reality. Life is tough, and that is reality. The sun rises in the east, the earth is round, and the laws of nature refuse to be adjusted by humans. Evel Knievel failed to comply with laws of nature in more than a few of his 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps. Though Knievel sincerely believed his plans were good, some jumps ended badly.

You may sincerely believe “your truth”; but if it’s contrary to reality, if it stands against what the Founding Fathers referred to as “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” you will not, you cannot, escape. Though escapism may make a moment bearable, it will never dismiss reality, it will never deny the truth — and it will often exact a toll.

Shortly before Elvis Presley died at age 42, he admitted, “I’ve been hiding from the truth for too long.” His efforts to escape reality eventually led to the realization, “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.” Unfortunately, the King of Rock and Roll had unlimited means and methods to escape reality. He used them, and he escaped. Permanently.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ross is an author, speaker, publisher, and co-founder of PowerfulSeniors.com. He lives in Loveland, Colo, USA