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Avant-garde Videogames: Playing with Technoculture

Author
Brian Schrank
Publisher / Label
Mit Press
Country
USA
Language
English
Publication year
2014
Type of publication
Book
Number of pages
217
ISBN
9780262027144

Index

Contents

Foreword by Jay David Bolter vii 
Acknowledgments xi

1   Videogames as Avant-garde Art 1

Mainstream and Avant-garde 4 
Opening Up the Definition of Videogame 7 
Avant-garde Is a Diverse Field of Formal and Political Strategies 12 
Chapter Summaries 22

2   Radical Formal 27

Rise of Avant-garde Painting 27 
Monopoly of Flow 32 
Mainstream Games Are Formulaic Kitsch 34 
Breaking Up Flow 38 
Videogames, the Desperate Art 46

3   Radical Political 55

Rise of the Political Avant-garde 55 
Monopoly of Safe Play 63 
Radical Play 64 
Sweet Griefing 69 
Single-Player Political Games 73 
The Playful Mob 75 
Conservative Violence 79 
Life, Art, Play, and Reality 82

4   Complicit Formal 85

Art Is Messy 85
Fluxus and Flow 86 
Manic Avant-garde Cyborgs 95
Gentle Avant-garde Cyborgs 99
Affordance Mining 104 
Art of Erasure 105

5   Complicit Political 113

Ad Hoc Utopias 113 
World Games 120 
Populist Avant-garde Politics 122 
Detouming Shock 125 
Gonzo Gamers 127

6   Narrative Formal 135

Russian Formalism 135 
Interactive Fiction 137 
Ironic Realism 145 
Dramatic Uncanny Valley 152

7   Narrative Political 157

Brechtian Theater 157
 Brechtian Games 160 
Liquefying Mediums 167 
Liquefying Videogames 175

8   Conclusion 181

Call for Diversity 181
Not All That's "Good" Is Avant-garde 187

Notes 189 

References 193 

Index 205