The Dreamcast, Console of the Avant-Garde


  • Nick Montfort MIT
  • Mia Consalvo Concordia University


We argue that the Dreamcast hosted a remarkable amount of videogame development that went beyond the odd and unusual and is interesting considerd as avant-garde. After characterizing the avant-garde, we investigate reasons that Sega's position within the industry and their policies may have facilitated development that expressed itself in this way and was recieved by gamers using terms that are associated with avant-garde work. We describe five Dreamcast games (Jet Grind Radio, Space Channel 5, Rez, Seaman, and SGGG) and explain how the advances made by these industrially productions are related to the 20th century avant-garde's less advances in the arts. We conclude by considering the contributions to gaming that were made on the Dreamcast and the areas of inquiry that remain to be explored by console videogame developers today.

Author Biographies

Nick Montfort, MIT

Associate Professor of Digital Media

Mia Consalvo, Concordia University

Associate Professor of Communication Studies






Reflection and Review