Whether it’s a clown at a child’s birthday party, Broadway’s latest show, or stadium rock music, entertainment is all around us. It is the stuff of dreams, the stuff we want and need, and it is also a multi-billion dollar industry. The word itself is old, coming from the Medieval Latin intertenere (“to hold inside”). From there, it became associated with hospitable provision for the needs and wants of guests.
Oliver and Barstsch (2010) define entertainment as something that is understood objectively, involves communication between text and audience from an external stimulus, offers pleasure, requires an audience to exist and occurs in a passive form. Then we can add to that list the things we like to do for fun, such as playing games and solving crosswords.