Gameplay Journal Entry #5

Emily Rose
2 min readFeb 16, 2021

My understanding of a glitch is an unintended technical oddity, or something that breaks a gameplay feature. I have encountered glitches that range from making a game impossible to play, to some strange consequences by performing a specific action. There is a lot of glitches that are very minor and almost unnoticeable or very hard to replicate. I also believe there is an overlap of glitches and exploits, where you can recreate an effect for some advantage or purpose, however Menkman states “When the glitch becomes domesticated, controlled by a tool, or technology (a human craft), it has lost its enchantment and has become predictable. It is no longer a break from a flow within a technology, or a method to open up the political discourse, but instead a form of cultivation.” (Menkman 342) I do not agree with this, I think glitches can still be unpredictable and a break from flow even when a person has “domesticated” it. You can understand a glitch, use it, and it can become an exploit, but it is still a glitch that will not always function as you might expect it to.

The glitch I found is in Skyrim, where if you sit on a bench the same time as you exit the building, you are teleported to be sitting in the sky above the world map. This example is a bit unusual, and how I define glitches, it is a strange consequence by performing a specific action. This is not something you should be doing in game; it is not very helpful and just leads to your characters death, but the method of doing this glitch and the effect it has certainly breaks gameplay. This glitch can also most likely be reliably recreated by performing the same action, it is only a matter of timing it correctly. Even though it can be recreated, it might only work on that specific area with that bench, so the nature of how it works is still unknown. Regardless, the gameplay loop is disrupted, but it leads to a nice view of Skyrim from up high.

Reference: Menkman, Rosa. “Glitch Studies Manifesto” in Video Vortex Reader II: Moving Images beyond YouTube.