Gameplay Journal #5 — Glitches

Video shows both the glitch and how to do it in game

To me a glitch, in terms of videogames, is anything that occurs in a game that is outside of the intended functionality of what the game is trying to do. This can range anywhere from textures going missing, sound effects playing over each other or out of sync, all the way to models stretching or the entire game world falling apart. The reasons behind any of these can vary, but I don't think tis the cause of a glitch that makes it a glitch but the result. It could be an internal error in the code, the games install becoming corrupt, or just a players hardware not beings strong enough to play the game stably. Some can even be caused by intentional tampering with hardware, like wiggling N64 cartridges for example. And whether intentional or not, these glitches break the façade of a games simulation of reality, and instead show the player the underlying fakeness of a game.

It may not be as dramatic or totally altering as the work of artists the likes of JODI or Menkman achieve in their work but one glitch that I rather enjoyed discovering when it popped up was this visual glitch with a specific emote in Bungie’s Destiny 2. As the video above shows, it happens when using the Draw emote if the player aims down the sights of their gun right as the emote goes into its closing animation. It doesn't do anything on the players screen, but for anyone else in the area it would make your character spin whatever weapon you had equipped before executing the emote. Be it a side arm, rifle, or a four foot long machine gun. Its such a minor little hiccup with whatever backend programming controlled the different animation states of the emote, but visually it broke so much of the games immersion by making it possible to do something that would otherwise be physically impossible with the real limits of physics. A perfect example of how even minor glitches can have effects that are “not one- hundred percent compatible with customary human logic, visual, sound, or behavioral conventions of organizing and acting in space.” (Fuller, Goriunova, Shulgin, 115).

Fuller, M. (2008). Software studies: A lexicon. Cambridge (Massachusetts): MIT.



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