[...] Dinner Date's focus on methodically destroying any old fixed point in video games can be seen as a cry for freedom and renewal by the hand of one of the first avant-garde movements born within the video game medium, whose birth, to tell the truth, is maybe more exact to retrace to Tale of Tales' Realtime Art Manifesto (Harvey and Samyn, 2006) from which even Stout admitted to have taken inspiration (Stout, 2011a). Although this is not the absolutely first video-game related clear avant-garde movement (even the clarity of it it's arguable, since it is surely not the Harvey and Samyn's manifesto that connects the many non-game, or to be more precise anti-games, that were released in the last four to five years), as we may remember other examples like the demoscene (Scheib et al., 2002), it is surely the first that has bled so fast and directly into the mainstream, with products like Journey (that also tries to put the player in a position of anti-power) or the Telltale Games' adaptation of The Walking Dead (that, together with David Cage's games, makes immediately clear that its protagonist is not an embodiment nor an extension of the player). If this is a true desire for change by an industry tired of the tropes that get reiterated from years and years, or just a temporary fluke, it is not for us to predict. But one thing is sure, and that is that, in its destruction of tropes, Jeroen D. Stout with Dinner Date managed to find a different and intriguing approach to interactive art and story-telling, that is worth to be taken a look at and studied even now, three years after its release.
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