Videogames & the two avant-gardes
Bolter, J. David
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The term "avant-garde games" keeps appearing in the game community, but uses of the term vary wildly. What is lacking is an awareness of the history of the avant-garde in the 20th century. Our strategy is to map today’s most creative and unusual videogames and gamemakers against that history. There are many avant-gardes, each with its artistic-cultural agenda, but we can distinguish two main groups: the formal and the political. Applying this division to videogames, we can see how the formal avant-garde explores the essence of the videogame medium (e.g. action, procedurality, story) and that the political avant-garde challenges or critiques technoculture through the videogame form.