The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1943)


"Our fundamental delusion today is not 'to believe in what is only a fiction' or 'to take fictions too seriously.'

It is, on the contrary, not to take the fictions seriously enough.

You think it's just a game?

It's reality.

It's more real than it appear to you.

People who play video games, they adopt a screen-persona of a sadist, rapist, whatever.

The idea is in reality I'm a weak person, so in order to supplement my real life weakness, I adopt the false image of a strong, sexually promiscuous person, and so on and so on.

This would be the naïve reading:

I want to appear stronger, more active, because in real life, I'm a weak person.

But what if we read it in the opposite way?

That this strong, brutal rapist, whatever, identity is my true self.

This is the psychic truth of myself and that in real life, because of social constraints and so on, I'm not able to enact it.

So that, precisely because I think it's only a game, it's only a persona, a self-image I adopt in virtual-space, I can be there much more truthful.

I can enact there an identity which is much closer to my true self.

We need the excuse of a fiction to stage who and what we truly are."

Slavoj Žižek, 'The Pervert's Guide to Cinema'

Screen capture from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1943)

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