This is the avant-garde

What’s more, certain independent games are entering a phase – familiar to historians of jazz, comics and indeed 20th-century literature – of vigorous experimentation with techniques of narrative. (An evening with the frightening and baffling The Path, rather like an Angela Carter story siphoned through The Sims, will show you what I mean.) And with book sales falling, it may not be long before prose writers jump ship for a medium that offers some of the most exciting possibilities of the new century.
Our experience of stories is, by and large, a lateral one, in which the writer commands every aspect of the world the reader inhabits as well as the process by which it reveals itself. Fine; it’s worked for centuries. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that gaming – which increasingly promises a narrative space for the player to make his own way, never having the same experience twice – is where at least some of the great writers of tomorrow will make their names. At which point, as with comics, everyone will get a terrible headache over trying to think of a new name for the medium. |Telegraph.UK - Tim Martin|

I can't quite decide what to think of Martin's essay. On the one hand, it resonates with my view that video games are one of the signal cultural artifacts of our era, an emerging medium with the same kind of potential that photography had in the nineteenth century and cinema in the twentieth. On the other hand, I think that the works of those who locate themselves on the avant-garde are more often than not self-indulgent crap, so I sure hope video game designers don't start believing their press clippings.

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