Suspension of Disbelief.
The concept that you can pick up a work of fiction (a book, movie, show, game, etc.) that YOU KNOW FOR A FACT is a lie, and yet you will your brain to believe it. Media that is outright labeled ‘Fiction’, indicating to everyone that is false, made-up, dishonest, fraudulent- a lie, and yet we pretend the characters and situations and places are all real.
It’s not because we’re stupid. We believe a lie so we can enjoy it. Even if that means believing our beloved protagonist is harmed, mutilated, or even killed. This doesn’t mean we’re sadistic (well, maybe a little), it means we’re human. It means we want to relate to someone and care for them, even if the person isn’t real. It’s really quite lovely.
We’re willing to believe Chris Pratt is really just about to be eaten by dinosaurs. We’re willing to believe our toys come alive when we don’t see them, or you can make your house float with enough balloons. We’re willing to believe zombies are all around us. We’re even willing to feel that same fear and love and excitement vicariously.
We get to experience the most unbelievable situations and circumstances while sitting in a comfy chair, eating popcorn and drinking Coke.
And if we didn’t have this psychological phenomenon- if we weren’t completely willing to believe a lie, even when it is labeled as such, then we wouldn’t have fiction.