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I don't think that humans demand a drug called Fantasy. It's that their Reality is coded in Story. Language involves Story; any noun, verb, and object is a story. We create narratives of events because that's how we realize them and remember them. Narratives have always created reality for their audiences -- people listening to poets recite The Iliad saw fantastic pictures in their minds. Until CGI, radio drama could create more convincing worlds than cinema offered. It was the scientific revolution -- Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and all that -- that made popular the notion that stories supposed to be true should be backed up by evidence, facts. Churches have been struggling for over a century to reconcile the old story, supported by art and popular telling, with increasing realization that there's no evidence that it happened as tradition has it.

Seeing actually is believing on some level -- seeing people fly on the silver screen, or watching dozens of Indians or Ninjas shot to death, goes into the brain as reality. More insidious than images inspired by Homer or Conan Doyle. One problem with CGI is that the images aren't quite realistic, they don't move exactly as mass and momentum would make them. Something about them makes me seasick. The stop-motion King Kong is more realistic in a way -- there was an actual model being photographed.

People are invested in their stories and resist giving them up for something as trivial as evidence. We've always had Fantasy in Story. But, as you say, Fantasy in film has become more important than story. The slick images are degrading people's ability to discern reality.

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