The Psychological Origins of Fantasy

Let’s begin by defining the word “fantasy” since obviously there are many usages of it these days and while all of them may have a similar thread, I think you’ll agree the word itself conjures up a particular idea. Fantasy refers to a dream world, an imaginary universe in which various things – from physics to personal relationships, from creatures to economies – are all set to the liking or interest of the dreamer. In many people’s minds, fantasy worlds often placed in a Medieval setting, have dragons and great treasures to be found, and physics is sometimes influenced or dictated by unexplanably simple mechanics called “magic”. Not all fantasy worlds are limited to this realm. Some take place in outerspace, some in the future, and some in a galaxy far, far away. In every case, all of them differ significantly from current human history (even if they “take place” in the real world at a certain historic time, such as yesterday).

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