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River rafting.

An adventure is an exciting experience or undertaking that is typically bold, sometimes risky. [1] Adventures may be activities with danger such as traveling, exploring, skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, river rafting, or other extreme sports. Adventures are often undertaken to create psychological arousal or in order to achieve a greater goal, such as the pursuit of knowledge that can only be obtained by such activities.



Adventurous experiences create psychological arousal, [2] which can be interpreted as negative (e.g. fear) or positive (e.g. flow). For some people, adventure becomes a major pursuit in and of itself. According to adventurer André Malraux, in his Man's Fate (1933), "If a man is not ready to risk his life, where is his dignity?".

Similarly, Helen Keller stated that "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." [3]

Outdoor adventurous activities are typically undertaken for the purposes of recreation or excitement: examples are adventure racing and adventure tourism. Adventurous activities can also lead to gains in knowledge, such as those undertaken by explorers and pioneers – the British adventurer Jason Lewis, for example, uses adventures to draw global sustainability lessons from living within finite environmental constraints on expeditions to share with schoolchildren. Adventure education intentionally uses challenging experiences for learning.

Author Jon Levy suggests that an experience should meet several criteria to be considered an adventure: [4]

  1. Be remarkable—that is, worth talking about
  2. Involve adversity or perceived risk
  3. Bring about personal growth.

Mythology and fiction

Some of the oldest and most widespread stories in the world are stories of adventure, such as Homer's Odyssey . [5] [6] [7]

The knight errant was the form the "adventure seeker" character took in the Late Middle Ages.

Adventure fiction exhibits these "protagonist on adventurous journey" characteristics, as do many popular feature films, such as Star Wars [8] and Raiders of the Lost Ark . [9]

Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a well-known example of a fantasized adventure story. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Carroll, Robinson - S001 - Cover.jpg
Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a well-known example of a fantasized adventure story.


Adventure books may have the theme of the hero or main character going to face the wilderness or Mother Nature. Examples include books such as Hatchet or My Side of the Mountain . These books are less about "questing", such as in mythology or other adventure novels, but more about surviving on their own, living off the land, gaining new experiences, and becoming closer to the natural world.


Many adventures are based on the idea of a quest: the hero goes off in pursuit of a reward, whether it be a skill, prize, treasure, or perhaps the safety of a person. On the way, the hero must overcome various obstacles to obtain their reward.

Video games

In video game culture, an adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of a protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle solving. [10] The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media, literature and film, encompassing a wide variety of literary genres. Many adventure games (text and graphic) are designed for a single player, since this emphasis on story and character makes multi-player design difficult. [11]

Nonfiction works

From ancient times, travelers and explorers have written about their adventures. [12] Journals which became best-sellers in their day were written, such as Marco Polo's journal The Travels of Marco Polo or Mark Twain's Roughing It . Others were personal journals, only later published, such as the journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark or Captain James Cook's journals. There are also books written by those not directly a part of the adventure in question, such as The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe or books written by those participating in the adventure but in a format other than that of a journal, such as Conquistadors of the Useless by Lionel Terray. Documentaries often use the theme of adventure as well.

Adventure sports

There are many sports classified as adventure sports, due to their inherent danger and excitement. Some of these include mountain climbing, skydiving, or other extreme sports.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., also known simply as Indy, is the title character and protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials. The character first appeared in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, to be followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles from 1992 to 1996, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in 2023. The character is also featured in novels, comics, video games, and other media. Jones is also the inspiration for several Disney theme park attractions, including Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril, the Indiana Jones Adventure, and Epic Stunt Spectacular! attractions.

<i>Quest for Glory</i> Video game series

Quest for Glory is a series of hybrid adventure/role-playing video games, which were designed by Corey and Lori Ann Cole. The series was created in the Sierra Creative Interpreter, a toolset developed at Sierra specifically to assist with adventure game development. The series combines humor, puzzle elements, themes and characters borrowed from various legends, puns, and memorable characters, creating a 5-part series in the Sierra stable.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mag Mell</span> Mythical realm in Irish mythology

In Irish mythology, Mag Mell is one of the names for the Celtic Otherworld, a mythical realm achievable through death and/or glory. Unlike the underworld in some mythologies, Mag Mell was a pleasurable paradise, identified as either an island far to the west of Ireland or a kingdom beneath the ocean. However, Mag Mell was similar to the fields of Elysium in Greek mythology, and, like the fields of Elysium, was accessible only to a select few. Furthermore, Mag Mell, like the numerous other mystical islands said to be off the coast of Ireland, was never explicitly stated in any surviving mythological account to be an afterlife. Rather, it is usually portrayed as a paradise populated by deities, which is occasionally visited by some adventurous mortals. In its island guise it was visited by various Irish heroes and monks forming the basis of the Adventure Myth or "echtrae" as defined by Myles Dillon in his book Early Irish Literature. This otherworld is a place where sickness and death do not exist. It is a place of eternal youth and beauty. Here, music, strength, life and all pleasurable pursuits come together in a single place. Here happiness lasts forever, no one wants for food or drink. It is the Irish equivalent of the Greek Elysium or the Valhalla of the Norse.

Thriller is a genre of fiction, having numerous, often overlapping subgenres. Thrillers are characterized and defined by the moods they elicit, giving viewers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety. Successful examples of thrillers are the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rihla</span> Genre of Arabic travel literature

Riḥla refers to both a journey and the written account of that journey, or travelogue. It constitutes a genre of Arabic literature. Associated with the medieval Islamic notion of "travel in search of knowledge", the riḥla as a genre of medieval and early-modern Arabic literature usually describes a journey taken with the intent of performing the Hajj, but can include an itinerary that vastly exceeds that original route. The classical riḥla in medieval Arabic travel literature, like those written by Ibn Battuta and Ibn Jubayr, includes a description of the "personalities, places, governments, customs, and curiosities" experienced by traveler, and usually within the boundaries of the Muslim world. However, the term rihla can be applied to other Arabic travel narratives describing journeys taken for reasons other than pilgrimage; for instance the 19th century riḥlas of Muhammad as-Saffar and Rifa'a al-Tahtawi both follow conventions of the riḥla genre by recording not only the journey to France from Morocco and Egypt, respectively, but also their experiences and observations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Video game genre</span> Classification assigned to video games based on their gameplay

A video game genre is an informal classification of a video game based on how it is played rather than visual or narrative elements. This is independent of setting, unlike works of fiction that are expressed through other media, such as films or books. For example, a shooter game is still a shooter game, regardless of where or when it takes place. A specific game's genre is open to subjective interpretation. An individual game may belong to several genres at once.

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Alastair Humphreys is an English adventurer, author and motivational speaker. Over a four-year period he bicycled 46,000 miles (74,000 km) around the world. He was a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012. He is responsible for the rise of the idea of the microadventure – short, local, accessible adventures.

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Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero is a 1989 adventure game/role-playing game hybrid, designed by Lori Ann Cole and published by Sierra On-Line for MS-DOS. It is the first game in the Quest for Glory series, and has been credited for being a genre-defining game, as it tried to mix graphical adventure gaming with role-playing-like elements such as statistic building that would actually affect the ability to accomplish certain parts of the game. The game has a satirical and silly tone. Ports for the Amiga, Atari ST, and NEC PC-9801 were released in the early 1990s. A VGA remake, titled Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero, was released in 1992 for DOS and later in 1994 for Mac OS.

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National Geographic Adventure was a magazine started in 1999 by the National Geographic Society in the United States. The first issue was published in Spring 1999. Regular publication of the magazine ended in December 2009, and the name was reused for a biannual newsstand publication. The last issue was December 2009/January 2010.

Kira Salak is an American writer, adventurer, and journalist known for her travels in Mali and Papua New Guinea. She has written two books of nonfiction and a book of fiction based on her travels and is a contributing editor at National Geographic magazine.

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The term microadventure was made common by British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys and is defined as an overnight outdoor adventure that is "small and achievable, for normal people with real lives". The New York Times described microadventures as "short, perspective-shifting bursts of travel closer to home, inspiring followers to pitch a tent in nearby woods, explore their city by moonlight, or hold a family slumber party in the backyard."

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<i>Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep</i>

Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep is an adventure module with themes of heroism, underwater horror and fantasy. It is set in the Exandria campaign setting and designed for the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. It was published by Wizards of the Coast and released on March 15, 2022.


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