Gameplay Journal #5
Menkman describes a glitch as “an unexpected and abnormal modus operandi, a break from (one of) the many flows (of expectations) within a technological system” (Menkman 341). I agree with this definition, as I also see glitches as unexpected or accidental breaks in the system. In my own words I would describe a glitch within a game as an unintentional loophole or feature that players can use to gain some kind of advantage or effect. Some glitches can be abused to complete goals or achievements sooner than they’re meant to be completed. Other times, glitches can just be funny or interesting bugs, harmless to the games overall function.
An interesting glitch that comes to mind is the ones players used to get the fastest speedrun of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. There’s a few glitches involved in the world record speedrun, but my favorite is how you’re able to glitch through walls and into shrines before completing any prerequisites. This glitch intentionally disrupts the gameplay by circumventing the intended gameplay steps. I think of it as being similar to a short-circuited wire; The player can glitch through the walls to jump far ahead of what the game intends for them to do. It takes the game from having 50 hours of main story gameplay to a game that can be beaten in under 20 minutes.
This link is to one of the faster speedruns I’ve seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5_x_NTrJ4o
At 4:45 you can see them clip through the first shrine wall.
Menkman, Rosa. Glitch Studies Manifesto. 2010.