Entertaiment is the activity of entertaining or the state of being entertained. It can be public, scripted, and formal as in theater, opera, and television; or it can be private, spontaneous, and informal as in games and sports. It is possible that what appears to be entertainment may also serve as a means of attaining insight or intellectual growth, as in the case of a joke or a picaresque novel.
The power of entertainment is illustrated by the story of Scheherazade, a professional storytelling tradition in Persian culture in which a woman saves her own life by telling stories to her captive audience. The story has inspired a number of musical works (by composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov and Ravel), films, and innovative video games.