Let’s start in the obvious sort of example. Novels and films. It’s very obvious when you read a novel that what you’re doing is immersing yourself in another reality of some kind.
You know, if you read Little Dorrit or something by Dickens you’re in the 19th century, you’re in the culture of debtors’ prisons, the poorest people in London. And the effect of that, of course, could be dramatic on a reader. It was very dramatic on Dickens’ readers, most of whom were probably people who hadn’t experience debtors’ prisons and who were shocked by what they read and who developed a kind of empathy for the people portrayed there. So they suddenly understood that there was a class of people that they had not seen much of, tended to ignore who, to their surprise, had the same sorts of feelings that they had: the same triumphs and the same disappointments.