Combining media effects with aesthetic approaches this book offers the first substantial, systematic and coherent account of fun and its importance. But what exactly is fun and what purposes does it serve? Fun is a vital element of entertainment, and entertainment is the most important form of culture in modern Western democracies. It demonstrates that fun is at the heart of entertainment's effects - entertainment both offers its consumers fun and provides them with the intellectual materials to think about the nature of fun. More than this, the book argues that entertainment shows us that fun - pleasure without purpose - is at the heart of living a good life. Illustrated with detailed examples from entertainment - from the Urban Dictionary to The Simpsons, to the Culture novels of Iain M Banks - this book is intelligent, original, and even (dare we say it) fun.