Actually, tho the written word is only a couple thousand years old, we have been entertaining ourselves for centuries. Sitting around the campfire and telling stories was a pastime of ancient man as well and as far as I am concerned the only thing that separates us from animal with the possible exception of higher math. Stephan King said in his book 'Danse Macabre' that reading horror was a way of living the dangerous without being in danger. Not because of some sick fascination with hurting things or seeing them hurt, but because that kind of horror horrifies us as well and there is a need to understand it, too approach it safely and inspect it without getting hurt. Not all of that is his quote but that is what I took away with me when I read that book. I believe it applies to other genres as well. In a recent discussion with people at work, I asked them how they could watch the 'Passion of Christ' to watch a man be tortured for two hours seemed horrible to me. But one of them, a very christian woman said that she wanted to know what Jesus went through. [sorry, I still don't understand that one.] But all in all, stories connect us all, we can explore each other's cultures, mores, and even our souls and even dark depravities. One can back away from those a say 'I can't protect the entire world from hurt and harm, but I can now understand and protect my little corner of this world because I have seen what depravity looks like and in the jungle that is a useful thing to watch for.'