Gameplay Journal #6 — Datamoshing

Look I even went and learned how to force the effect myself :)

In my last journal I took a look at a glitch in a game, which is probably the first type of thing that comes to peoples minds when they think of the term glitch. Something accidental that isn't supposed to happen. And that's why this week I wanted to play with purposefully introducing glitches, and to do so I chose to learn how to datamosh video files. This is an effect that I personally really like when its done well, and though the results I got weren't quite as dramatic as I wanted it still worked and came out more interesting than the original clip I started with. And while doing so I learned not only about the processes and methods that can be used to datamosh, but also more about how video compressing and encoding works as its expected to. And I think that this sort of exemplifies a major concept I took out of the reading from this week.

“The concept of the post-digital then reflects a critical engagement with media technologies, by defying their normal functions and use and exposing their infrastructure and materiality.”(Ferreira & Ribas, 115). This statement from the xCoAx paper really stuck with me, because I think it really defines how a glitch exposes the underlying processes that lead up to it. When we watch videos online we don't think about the parts of the video file itself, in fact Im sure most people don't even know what an I, P or B frame is in regards to video encoding. But through the process of learning how to datamosh a file I learned about these types of frames, and how erasing all of one type of them, specifically the I-Frames, can completely change how a video is played back to us by introducing a whole host of corruptions and errors in playback. And learning this sort of process is, at least in my eyes, the exact type of critical engagement with technology that the paper was referring to. By learning how to break a video, I also learned more about digital video itself, and managed to create some interesting glitch effects in the process.

Ferreira, P., & Ribas, L. (n.d.). Post-Digital Aesthetics in Contemporary Audiovisual Art.



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