As someone who loves to write about and generally immerse myself in the world of fiction and fantasy, there have been instances (rare ones), where I have felt the the need to rationalise all of it. As if to convince myself that there is more to exploring fantasy than just fun. And indeed, one could make strong arguements on how it's not an escape from reality, but a way of understanding it. Or, how fantasy reveals the truth, which reality obscures (and etc.).
However, to me, there is a more straightforward way of putting it all into perspective. It all comes down to a simple feeling. One that was solidified on a foggy summer morning, when I arrived to a small village of Spa located in the rural area of Belgium (Ardennes), as me and my dad got a chance to fulfill a childhood dream of ours and attend a #FormulaOne race.
Firstly, it's probably best to quickly explain the role that #F1 has played in my life. Simply put, in it's own way, it was the first #fantasyworld I ever got into. You see, back in the late '90s and early '00s, before I discovered stuff like #StarWars and other epic works of fantasy, there was Formula One. The stories this sport produced were, in a sense, my fairytales, and the drivers involved my heroes or idols (much like Obi-Wan or Han Solo became later). Now, obviously, I always aknowledged that F1 is in fact, well, real. It's just that, you see, as a small kid, the world around this sport carried the same sense of magic, I would later feel when immersing myself into a fantasy like Star Wars.
So, fast forward to that cold summer morning in 2013. Rather obviously, this childlike wonder had somewhat subsided in me and replaced with a much more realistic view of the sport. However, as I was making my way towards the circuit located in the middle of this serene and beautiful countryside covered in fog, as these familiar engine sounds echoed louder and louder, I realized that somewhere deep inside, I still viewed this sport as a fantasy world. One I was about to enter. And, well, enter it I did.
The thing is, when I finally arrived at the circuit, it effectively felt like it's own little realm. There I was at this location, which had been the centre stage for countless of iconic moments in the sport that I love (and one I had played on countless of #videogames). I relished seeing the Formula 1 cars seemingly defy the laws of physics as they produced a sound, which was loud enough to feel. And, to top it all off, in some of these cars, were the drivers I had cheered for and idolised already as a kid back in the early '00s (like Raikkonen, Alonso or Button). Indeed, if I had suddenly found myself on board of #DeathStar and came across #DarthVader, I'm not entirely sure, whether I would have been more freaked out (well, maybe a little).
So, how did it all put the importance of fantasy into perspective for me? Well, you see, even though F1 is a multi billion dollar business, where drivers face a huge risk whenever they step into these cars, it's still essentially a big game. A game, with which people have come up with to test the limits of humans and machines for the purposes of entertainment. Therefore, from a certain point of view, it's a result of human fantasy.
Now, actually being a part of it enabled me to feel the power of fantasy in as direct way as possible. This, in turn, is a rather excellent way to make one realise that even if we can't always rationalise it's importance to ourselves, fantasy is an aspect of human nature, which should always be embraced and celebrated. Especially considering the fact that it can indeed make a contribution to reality, as is evident in the inspiring real life stories, which have come out of this sport (perfectly illustrated with Ron Howard's 2013 epic #Rush), or in the advancements F1 has given for road car technology.
Bottom line, as this awesome weekend drew to a close, I had not only gained a definitive source of inspiration to immerse myself in fantasy, but also, perhaps more importantly, an incentive to connect it with reality whenever possible.