Role playing games are no more escapist than reading a book or watching a movie but they are far more satisfying. Organized gaming groups are a socially creative activity and reinforce group dynamics. You can't succeed in most role playing games without a group, and since each character is as unique as the person playing them, motivations that differ come together in entertaining ways. It's more difficult than a video game where group dynamics is based solely on powers and weapon, in a role playing game characters of conflicting races, alignments and beliefs come together to escape traps, discover treasures or just survive a world that would destroy them all without prejudice.
In all honesty though, those aren't usually the things considered when a game is played. Usually they're just happy byproducts of a group of friends spending hours together while weaving an entertaining story together. Friends who game together have to be comfortable enough with each other to cut loose and enjoy themselves in character. We may have our stereotypes but they are the exception, not the rule. We're only human, and we feel just as awkward around the basement dwelling, energy drink guzzling recluse as the next person.