I realized this week after chatting with my friends that I'm a casual consumer in almost every form of entertainment I consume but table top role-playing games. Whether it is in video games, board games (though less so there), or media (be it film or book), my standards are far lower than they are for RPGs.
I think it is because of the time investment in them, for me, is so much higher - I've been DMing for the last several years, so generally I've been the one responsible for a lot of the before the game preparation.
But that seems cold. I'd say it is closer to the fact that I get to escape into a fantasy world where I escape, but honestly, I find a book generally tends towards more escapism for me.
Board games give me the social aspect, and the tactical need to plan ahead and develop strategies, as well as the thrill of conquering when the plans come together.
It could just be that table top gaming is the only thing I've found that scratches all of these areas, it is the only place where I get to be creative, escape, socialize, and be tactical/make plans. The benefit that gaming is that while it is rarely as useful/efficient as any of these other activities that I do is that it is the "duck" (i.e., neither fish nor fowl) of my hobbies - reading/movies provide me escape more efficiently, board games engage my tactical nature immediately. Heh.
And even while writing this I see that the collaborative/creative nature is left off of all of these activities. I've never been much of a writer, a brief flirtation with a short story writing class in college soured me on the idea of writing fiction in any of its forms - especially as I never had delusions of creating 'literature' as a higher form of discussion. But I digress.
I guess this is all on my mind particularly because in about four or five months my life is going to change radically, and my time to spend on things that don't get me precisely what I want is going to be reduced. I already, several years ago, made a few life choices that required me to ditch anything that wasn't feeding me enough, such as the SCA and a few other hobbies, and I see myself needing to do the same again in a bit.