Mike Sell’s essay “Playing the Avant-Garde: The Aesthetics, Narratives, and Communities of Video Game Vanguards” appears in this month's issue of Modernism/Modernity, the premier journal of modernist literary and cultural studies.
In the essay, Sell explores the multiple ways that video games intersect with the idea of the avant-garde. Traditionally, the avant-garde is associated with radical, alternative, or experimental aesthetic approaches. Following the approach he pioneered
in his book The Avant-Garde: Race Religion War (University of Chicago/Seagull Books, 2011), Sell expands the concept to include not only video games that take an experimental approach to aesthetics and play practices, but also games that represent
avant-gardes, including perennially popular games about military special forces and sword-and-sorcery dungeon spelunkers.
The essay can be accessed via Print Plus.
Department of English