Although the forms of entertainment have changed significantly over the years, the function of entertainment has remained essentially the same till now. Because of the necessities of survival, life is filled with routine built around schedules that govern daily existence.
This is true whether a society is primarily concerned with producing its own living, such as a hunter-gatherer or agrarian society type, or more advanced, such as an industrial or modern society. For all of these societies, the daily routine revolves around either directly producing food and other things needed to survive, or earning money to purchase these things. Despite vast differences in the particular contribution of mental or physical exertion to these various routines, they are repetitive by their nature and do become monotonous. While the rut remains essential to survival, the human mind has always sought ways to provide variety of input and experiences.
Fortunately, there has always been more to life than just finding or producing enough food and water that concerned early societies, or the modern routine of earning a living. A part of life that helps to balance the everydayness is entertainment. Beginning with self-entertainment, such as storytelling, self-produced art, and self-produced music, entertainment has now been developed into the myriad of forms available to members of our modern society. Whether it is sought through media, such as television or books, or performance, theater or sporting events, entertainment can add an extra dimension to life. When the day by day earning of a living becomes dull, there are many kinds of entertainment available to restore interest and excitement. Entertainment provides a means of taking us away to other places and times. Although the form is different, it is easy to imagine that this break in the monotony was true with storytelling, art, and music from the beginning of its development. Entertainment is a part of life with many possible functions, but a primary one has always been a means of distracting us from the mundane routine of daily life.