Imagination, in the context of escapism, can often seen an alternative to reality, something that gives an opportunity to “get away” from reality, which distances it from reality; the imagination is seen as something abstract. But I think, instead of an alternate reality, it gives alternatives of reality; that we can generate ideas about reality, testing these and creatively applying them to the world around us, transforming it.
Another thing is that the imagination is seen as something abstract, but I think it is something very physiological. When we see a movie or read a book the stories evoke reactions in our bodies: hearts may race, breathing may slow down, butterflies might jiggle in our stomachs and hands get clammy. The imagination has its roots in the body, not in an unseen, abstract realm.