A tour through the major themes of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. Gilsdorf’s award-winning travel memoir investigates fantasy and gaming subcultures: from Dungeons and Dragons players to World of Warcraft addicts, from Harry Potter fans to live-action role-players. What explains this genre’s surging popularity? What lures people to fantasy realms, and what meaning do they find there? How have gamer/geek stereotypes evolved? Can escapism be good for you, and how do adults balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of the real world? Crisscrossing America, the world, and other worlds, Gilsdorf speaks with geeks, plays games, and makes peace with his own geeky past.
Ethan Gilsdorf is the author of the travel memoir Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. The poet, teacher, critic, and journalist has worked as a freelance correspondent, guidebook writer, and film, book and restaurant reviewer. Based in Somerville, Mass., he publishes travel, art, and pop culture stories regularly in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Christian Science Monitor, and has been published in dozens of other magazines, newspapers, websites, and guidebooks worldwide.
Follow Ethan’s adventures: www.ethangilsdorf.com and www.fantasyfreaksbook.com
A book signing and question and answer session will follow the talk.
Sponsored by the Henkels Lecture Series, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts,
and the Department of American Studies