What Is Entertaiment?


A clown at a birthday party, a Broadway show, a stadium rock concert, your friends fighting over the last potato chip—entertainment is what keeps us distracted and amused. From the Old French entretenement, meaning to hold together or support, entertainment has evolved from the activities of hospitality and hunting or war to a broad array of performances in theatrical, visual, and audio media. The same themes and ideas can be reimagined again and again—take the Scheherazade story in professional Persian storytelling tradition, for example: it has inspired orchestral works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Ravel; film adaptations by Pasolini and countless others; and now an innovative video game.