I’ve been wondering why I enjoy something as bizarre and pointless as writing interactive fiction. But ultimately it’s no different from a lot of other creative hobbies.
There are people (mostly men, I imagine) who build quite elaborate model train layouts for fun. Such a train layout might fill an entire bedroom. In the evening you might find the guy building a trestle out of popsicle sticks and then painting it rust-red so it looks authentic.
In each case, what’s fun is creating a tiny model of the real world — a model that has light and color and sound in it, and where things move around. The human brain seems to like building models.
A community theatre performing Shakespeare is the same thing, isn’t it? There’s more social collaboration than if you’re building a model train, but the result is a tiny model of the real world (the life of Richard III, for instance) that includes color and sound and movement.