Surrealism case studies: video game glitches
I’m fascinated with video game glitches, especially in POV games, given their inherent ‘narrative’ orientation. What makes video games so evocative is the pristine artifice and utilitarian rendering; and when transgressed by a coding glitch, is very unsettling. I find the inadvertent surrealism in the clips below uncanny, humorous, and ‘anti-brilliant.’ It begs the question: if accidents are where the really good ideas are — full of, strangely, more ‘natural’ logic — then what the hell is a writer supposed to do?
Case No. 1:
Case No. 2:
Case No. 3:
Case No. 4:
I used to play Grand Theft Auto on my roommate’s Playstation. The ‘pistol whipping’ and ‘ho slapping’ got boring quick; so did the joy rides through town. What really interested me, what I looked forward to come to after 8 hrs of work, was swimming in the ocean as far as the conceptual programming would allow. I was determined to hit some wall, or ‘break’ the game — for the game’s enterprise was on land. The ocean, that far out, was merely a topographical necessary adornment. Perhaps I was existentially driven, curious about the limits of my own experience, but game ocean is infinite. I swam and swam, fingers sore, for up to 20 minutes, which translated to about 36 hours in ‘game time.’ The sun set. The sun rose. Now and then, to my delight, a dolphin would skip along the surface. The designers were as sensitive to the subtle changes of the sky’s hue as the best impressionist. There were times I actually got lonely out there, the police sirens so far gone. I never got tired, or drowned, or eaten by a shark. For once, I was the perfect human being. But this, after all, was not real…
…In real life, my taquitos start burning in the toaster oven and I turn the game off. I real life, penguins don’t moonwalk; but man if they only did. I guess that’s what fiction is for. Good luck people.