What is Entertaiment?

Entertaiment is any activity that provides recreation, amusement, fun, and enjoyment. It can be active (as in creating a game or playing sport) or passive (as in watching movies, reading books, or enjoying music and other performances). People can also entertain themselves by exercising their imagination (e.g., thinking up a story).

The most powerful means of entertaiment are stories that build love. Anyone can tell a story. Few can tell them well. And great profits come from the ones that do – not just in terms of their revenues, but also in terms of how deep and lasting the affinity they generate is. The classic example is Scheherazade – the tale from the Persian professional storytelling tradition of the woman who saves her own life by telling stories. This famous story has inspired orchestral pieces by Rimsky-Korsakov and Ravel, a film by Pasolini, and an innovative video game.

Entertainment hits on the points that our brain was evolved to react deeply to in order to understand the world around us. It also often hits on the points that our social systems were designed to respond to, such as backstabbing and murder.