Life is slow moving and mundane, games aren’t. Therefore, games satisfy a need for speedy, direct progress. It’s difficult to point to when the idea that games exist for the sake of escapism was popularized, but in recent years, such an idea has driven much of games journalism and probably a good deal of design as well. It’s odd to think of such an expensive hobby that is so often associated with a privileged class as designed purely for escape. What could such an audience have to escape from?
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, released in 2003 for the Gameboy Advance, however, rejects the idea of games merely existing as a form of escapism. The game acknowledges the idea that many have that games are escapist and refutes it. It’s a game about gamers and the dangers of escaping into gaming too deeply. The thesis of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is that escapism is not just dangerous to the medium but to those of us that love it.