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Glitch Keynote... notes

Started by droqen, July 04, 2022, 06:44:33 PM

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I've been invited to give a keynote for the Vector Festival Game & Hardware Jam! This year's theme is really exciting to me:


Some rough notes from an unsent email:

-Appreciating glitches is about seeing something work the way it's not supposed to work; the key is that it does suggest a way it was "supposed" to work. Glitches don't exist in a vacuum, they are failures, which means they tell you what success was supposed to look like, and there's a lot of room there to suggest not just how normal things might glitch, but also how fantastical things might glitch.

-Rather than fabricate glitches out of nothing, make a genuine attempt to be successful, but embrace glitches and failure in your own processes, your own tools. Game jams are the perfect opportunity to do this -- to let go of perfection (since you have very limited time) and share your risky attempts and beautiful failures with others.

-To release something with a real glitch takes a bit of courage, a willingness to be vulnerable. Something about how when engaging with people's work that contains glitches and failures, be kind and generous. Choosing to appreciate a glitch, rather than exploit it for gain or make fun of it, is an act of empathy. (which does not need to be extended to all glitches in all contexts! but it's nice to be empathetic to each other's glitches here)

-I have a few images of real-world glitches I've loved (some are glitchy screen displays, but one is like a malformed button - like a malformed clothes button) and I'll go on about what I think they expose about the underlying systems & processes that formed them.

-A lot of the game mechanics that exist in my games are the result of prototyping which feels a lot like discovering things that were... mistakes, errors. Intentionally sowing a little chaos in order to produce interesting failures. I could get into "Failing Upward" sort of at the end to show how I've personally folded glitches/failures into functional pieces in my body of work? I could talk about this for probably too long but I don't want to overdo it.


"Failure requires the possibility of success"

In the past I've tried to avoid the pain of failure by creating intentional failures, intentional glitches. This is doomed to fail. (Fail at failing... hmm)