The obvious answer is that the first world has to be broken in some way. Thats not always the case, but for many - it is the case. A morbidly obese zamboni driver builds her business online as a sexy real estate agent with a perfect figure. A woman falls in love with a latent homosexual she meets in a gay bar, then tries to find her romantic dominant. A computer programmer wants to gallop across the open plain, sword high over his head - even while he sits in a dark office - isolated, and quietly seated at a machine.
Then, the first world might be broken in other ways. A society that sees itself as a beacon of democracy slowly realizes they are a warmongering race with an industrialized military complex. An evangelical president slowly comes to realize that he has been the purveyor of intense suffering, and evil. A group of friends that seek adventure - and would , in an older world - be found exploring outdoors - slowly realize they have spent entire summers inside and indoors.
We live in a world where money is a vehicle for status. Quietly, all around us, the inevitable destruction of that social vehicle is occurring. The roaring twenties had people dressing in white, drinking a mint julep and parting their hair with greasy kid stuff. Then, suddenly, they were on the street corner selling apples for five cents a piece because their stock was worthless. People will world what the world was like, when the great depression of the 21st century occurred.
We seem to understand, intuitively, that people are made of starstuff. That the world around us has a fractal dimension: look at a snowflake, its an intricate tapestry of crystals. Then stack 200 million of them one on top of another on a cirque, and pull both your skis into the air before you jump into your first bottom turn. The snow is an unbroken line of powder with a capital POW! The carving turns or the occasional air you get happens in slow motion - you remember it for the rest of your life. Glide, lift, turn - repeat. The silence of it. The beauty. And the snow becomes a simple object, like a 3-D shape. Something you can ski, and not worry about traversing each edge of the snowflake - but rather which line through the mogul field or across the cirque. And so, people, too - all have their stories but in the end - they are also part of our lives. And we understand this - we know that somewhere there are teachers, companions, and warriors. Tinker, tailor - soldier, spy.
And so we leave this world for another world, where the rules have been thought out in absence of money, or fame, or social structures that were built to accomodate the mass homogeneity that an industrialized society requires. We descend into the realm of dragons , or lift ourselves up into orbit over the planets. We don the sword, or the cloak, or mantle.
Ultimately there is only a benefit or impact, anywhere - if the people who have made these worlds - return to the first reality. I guess in a way, maybe thats true for polyamorous people as well. Perhaps the stories they tell about their alternate loves fit in with some kind of conclusion. An end to the story - and someone that they can relate it all to. Maybe not. But the truth is, if we don't get it back to the real world it will go away. One less priest. One less mage.
Maybe we would trade it all for a still, quiet morning - finding ourselves awake at our grandmothers home. Seeing our breath in the air with our noses peeking out just above the comforter that always seemed military fold at the foot of the bed. We would trade it all to hear that one snippet of conversation drifting from the kitchen, or to feel the grass beneath our feet outside - running, playing - we don't have to be kids. Tell me honestly what golfer wouldn't trade it all for a pure drive down the center, and an eagle 2 on a par four on a beautiful morning?
The alternate worlds are works of art.And like all art - writing, painting, sculpture, computer programming and game design - can change things. Plato believed that artists were not kosher , but the truth is that his writing changed the way people think. And maybe even the way they feel.
Look for the next expansion pack upgrade to your life. Its coming soon. I heard there are going to be some neat features.