What would those Missingno tricks in Pokemon and similar be called? I don’t think they’d be glitches, however this post includes stuff about those sorts of things also. If you’ve visited this blog before you’ll probably have realised that I do the majority of my prototyping in JavaScript. I like JavaScript. I like it more than most. However, what I really like is C.

Why? Because C doesn’t protect you. C doesn’t tell you that you can’t call the twentieth item in a list of ten. C allows the designer to make mistakes. Mistakes that could go unnoticed until they can be exploited. That’s part of my philosophy. Glitches, bugs and exploits are all rebellions against the creators. It takes then from all -powerful condescending to entertain the player to something lesser, something more equal. It doesn’t make them a superior creator, it simply makes them a different creator from the player or indeed the chance glitches. It is the three performing in concert.

In long games, game-ending glitches really ought to be avoided. For the player to put so much time into it to learn hat he can’t proceed is awful. However, in short games I would say even that is fine. I can even easily imagine a future where a game-ending glitch is as acceptable as a game ending. Where games are so personal, that the glitch isn’t like being blocked from where everyone else gets to go.

Some glitches can be claimed to ‘break the mood’, but doesn’t the player running around like a muppet equally break the mood? If these cinematic games work it is only because the cinematics are set  away from the actions of the player and of glitches. They are put on a golden throne dictating that ‘This is what really happened. This is how he really acted. This is where he really stood”. If the player cannot stand up and influence that then glitches certainly can’t.

Of course I can’t finish this without saying why I really love glitches, bugs and exploits. I find then funny and they remind me of – and you might be able to guess what it is from the first example – the first game series I was really mad about.


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