In a recent blog, The Gauntlet explores the motives behind geeks and nerds, especially those in the Society for Creative Anachronism, who choose to "escape" from society to an ideal world.
From the blog:
When you think about people like members of the SCA, or gaming addicts, you don't immediately think of interested and productive members of society. We've been taught to see them as unfortunate men and women who have somehow failed to adjust to their proper roles in the real world. But when you consider why these people choose to see reality in a different way, either dreaming of a better life or actively trying to improve society, it doesn't seem so cut and dry.