Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
34 Panoramic Shots which illustrate why leaving all the photography decisions to your phone software, is not always the best decision Do not click link if you don't want to see images which simulate bodyhorror. Think videodrome-esque. As per usual YMMV. [more inside]
"Brandon Sheffield, Gamasutra editor and director of Necrosoft Games, took to Vine last night to show the world what exactly happens when 13 Sonic & Knuckles cartridges are plugged into one another in a Human Centipede-esque disaster." (Warning: 30 Vine videos playing in one browser window.)
Feel as if you've watched everything on Netflix? You might find something new at Summary Bug, where a text-display glitch generates whimsical cinematic possibilities.
"I introduced an element of randomness into a recent map design. Misplaced buildings and overlapping areas of texture bring energy and excitement to the experience of viewing a map. The end result is a little disorienting, but still mostly familiar."
Missing Glitch? A number of projects have sprung up to reboot the game. Whimsy, Children of Ur, and MVURXI have working demos, while Eleven is still under development.
"The collaborative, web-based, massively multiplayer game Glitch began its initial private testing in 2009, opened to the public in 2010, and was shut down in 2012. It was played by more than 150,000 people and was widely hailed for its original and highly creative visual style. The entire library of art assets from the game, has been made freely available, dedicated to the public domain. Code from the game client is included to help developers work with the assets. All of it can be downloaded and used by anyone, for any purpose. (But: use it for good.)" [more inside]
An entire episode of the Simpsons sent through various Alignment And Distrubution vector tools becomes a mesmerizing, glitched out work of art
Content Aware Scaling is a Photoshop technique which allows you to selectively change the scale of one portion of an image without affecting the rest of it. This technique can be used on still images (like so) to create insanely proportioned compositions, or on moving images to create shifting, disorienting, and often hilarious animated .gifs (like so, and also). Digital artist Neil Cicierega provides a tutorial and a Photoshop script to do this yourself. [more inside]
ROM corruptions are games played in emulators where the files have been run through a program (for example: Corrupster, and The Vinesauce Corrupter) which makes changes to the game data while still allowing it to remain playable. This results in strange graphical and audial glitches, like character models exploding in to chaotic swirls, garbled sprite assignments, and music distorted in to fascinating new compositions. Some other still image examples from Max Capacity (previously). This forum thread has a guide on how to corrupt ROMs yourself. Some Youtube links NWS due to swearing.
Keita's Quick Ideas. In 2011, Keita Takahashi, designer of Katamari Damacy, joined the team of the unconventional MMO game Glitch (previously), which had to close its doors last year. The Glitch people have since published 200 of Keita's ideas for the game.
Psybient or psychill is an chillout genre that combines elements of ambient with psytrance and world music, along with some glitch and dub sounds. Excellent examples are Land Switcher (more), Solar Fields (site), Euphorica, and Entheogenic. [more inside]
Postcards From Google Earth: "I collect Google Earth images. I discovered them by accident, these particularly strange snapshots, where the illusion of a seamless and accurate representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down. I was Google Earth-ing, when I noticed that a striking number of buildings looked like they were upside down." [more inside]
The Glitch [slyt]
A year after the game Glitch 'unlaunched' to retool, Glitch is closing. Glitchens everywhere mourn their fabulous homes. Glitch had a quirky style and offered a large number of possible crafts to their players, but unfortunately the game did not attract a big enough audience to remain viable. previously previously
Tool-assisted speedruns seek to create a perfect run by using tools such as slow motion, scripts and manipulation of random numbers. A few TASs have appeared on the blue before, but it's easy to get lost in the archives of TASvideos. The pages of popular videos and notable videos are useful here. You could browse by platform or use the tabs to sort the videos by various statistics. A good starting point might be Actraiser (yt), a hybrid of sidescroller and city simulation, which has been subtitled so that you can understand the choices made by the author (click on the 'closed captions' button). Some of the most impressive TASs take advantage of glitches: watch Link complete Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (yt - no cutscenes) by supersliding, bomb jumping, and eschewing boss keys or a long game like Super Mario 64 (yt) completed in 5 minutes in a no-stars run. However, sometimes watching a longer, competent run like Donkey Kong Country 2 (yt) 102% is just as fun. Here are some recommendations. [more inside]
"Cartridge Tilting" is the process of upsetting a ROM cartridge by physically lifting one side of the cartridge in a computer or video game console which is in use. It is considered to work best on N64 games and results in surreal, often creepy deconstruction of music and physics. [more inside]
glitch + gifs = glitchgifs (SLTumblr, blinky)
Computer Jesus Refrigerator are a noise/glitch band who make amazing and nearly uncategorizable music. They also have a YouTube channel with some highly impressive glitch videos.
This is a strange thing. This is a look, a style, a pattern that didn’t previously exist in the real world. It’s something that’s come out of digital.
"Above all, the New Aesthetic is telling the truth. There truly are many forms of imagery nowadays that are modern, and unique to this period. We’re surrounded by systems, devices and machineries generating heaps of raw graphic novelty. We built them, we programmed them, we set them loose for a variety of motives, but they do some unexpected and provocative things." Bruce Sterling (Previously) writes about the New Aesthetic movement in Wired magazine. [more inside]
Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
Let's Break Final Fantasy 6 is a delightful Let's Play of a familiar and beloved game in which an enlivened youth sets off on a long and arduous journey of playing a long and (well, somewhat) arduous game without...saving in order to... Wait. What? Where'd that airship come from and what is that moogle doing to that train? [more inside]
Tesco usually sells Terry's Chocolate Oranges for £2.75. Yet, in a scene reminiscent of US show Extreme Couponing, a UK 'daily deals' site discovered a glitch that meant shoppers got them for 29p each. And boy howdy, did they get them.
MAX CAPACITY Dwells In The Videodrome. "Not so long ago, last summer to be precise, we featured MAX CAPACITY in an illustrated selection of the best 8-bit inspired pixel artists. Already at the time, the American artist stood out from the lot because of his instinctive and primal approach to digital material." Max's work is spread out across the Internet: on Tumblr, Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, and his own webspace... [more inside]
For fans of gaming and pure delight: Katmari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi has joined the team behind the upcoming Glitch, from the makers of Flickr (and Game Neverending!) [more inside]
The videogame Red Dead Redemption has a rather unique glitch that occurs fairly frequently -- Flying Talking Horseman, Talking Bird riding a cart!!!!, elk-owl, bird bear, snake man, bird people, Genetically Altered Wolf-Men Attack, and Cougar-Man!
Kashiwa Daisuke is a japanese post-rock musician, (formerly in Yodaka) who specializes in gorgeous, epic, glitchy piano pieces that constantly seem on the verge of falling apart... Stella, April 02, Write Once, Run Melos are my favorites.
David Kraftsow is a visual artist and programmer, and maintains Don'tSave.com to showcase his work. You may be familiar with Yooouuutuuube (Example, Previously) which has added a new feature called "flux", which increases the transformations that can be applied to a video. But Kraftsow is also the mind behind YouTube Datamosh (example), which will remove keyframes from a video to give it a glitched out aesthetic, an automated service to find videos that are better than Justin Bieber, a live feed of QVC processed with hallucinogenic video effects, and first person Tetris (previously). [more inside]
Matthew Irvine Brown has written 18 short pieces specifically to be played in iTunes shuffle mode. The fragments can be downloaded from his site to create your own original track. A liking of glitch will probably increase your enjoyment.
This is a tool assisted speed run of the 1997 PSX game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. In it arukAdo (the author) abuses glitches in the engine to destroy the basic rules of the game world. Some highlights (though it's worth watching all the way through for fans of the game): The player character, Alucard, moves like a Trueblood vampire, warps through space to obtain items earlier than normal, blinks in and out of existence, and destroys the very fabric of reality. He explores areas outside the normal bounds of the game, hovers myseriously in place, and annihilates the prince of darkness in seconds. [more inside]
Beg, Steal, or Borrow: New Beats From Moscow Nice look at some brokenbeat/glitch/electronica/hiphop musicians in Russia, with embedded songs, a couple of mixtapes and links to lots of free listening. [more inside]
Take a game like Super Mario Bros. Introduce garbage data into the code, either through random Game Genie codes or a corruptor program. Try to play what results, while the laws of reality slowly go insane in the background, and upload the "best" results to YouTube. Can Mario make it to the princess when stomping a Goomba turns the air to water, when hitting a block ends the world, when the world is infinite length, if the ground can't support his weight, when touching a flagpole destroys his mind, when brought into being over an ocean immediately before a fatal heart attack, before the enemies turn into Bowser-halves, while the universe is freaking out around him? (hint: no)
The Lynchsons is a remixed episode of the Simpsons with strange graphical glitches, almost no discernable plot, rythmic noise collages, mis-cued and distorted music, and an overall odd sensibility. [more inside]
Julia Kotowski, otherwise known as entertainment for the braindead, has released several rather good albums under a Creative Commons licence: Hypersomnia, Hydrophobia, Seven (+1), Raw Timber and the banjo-heavy Roadkill.
Some of you may remember the Game Neverending (previously). But have you heard about Glitch? [more inside]
Muslimgauze was the sound of an angry Middle East, a prolific source of music dark, spacious and smothering. Tension was a constant theme not only in the music but in the packaging. (For example, Betrayal shows the hands of Yassir Arafat and Yitzak Rabin, and guns, knives, and news photos of an Arab world at war were a common motif in titles and sleeve art.) However, the music wasn't the usual agitprop fare: Music meant to rile a public to a cause isn't normally pigeonholed as ambient, electronica or musique concrete. But the band, hidden from public view, was rumored to donate proceeds to Palestinian terrorists, and that they were eventually silenced by Mossad. Despite the prodigious output -- issuing almost a hundred EPs and albums between 1983 and 1998, over a hundred more since -- limited distribution and perpetual obscurity ensured the rumors were easier to find than the music. While the facts about Muslimgauze have little in common with the fictions, they are, if anything, stranger... [more inside]
September 11, 2001. It's 10:15 am and the South Tower just went down. Millions of French people are watching the live coverage of the events on TF1, France's major TV channel, with star anchorman Poivre d'Arvor doing a running commentary. Then, for a split second, a character from a famous movie happily tells us (in French subtitles) that he "did it" (18 s in the video) (Dailymotion video). [more inside]
In a small triumph of humanity/common sense over technology, a supermarket experiencing a computer crash gives customers their "purchases" free of charge until the cash registers are up and running again.
"I want those two minutes of my life back." Musique concrète Fred Thompson-style -- a merciless videohack of the candidate's performance at the GOP debate on MSNBC, October 9, 2007. While almost anyone can be made to look foolish edited this way, not everyone was impressed by Thompson's unedited presence at the debate, his TV debut as a presidential contender. Some believe, however, that the former Law and Order D.A. is just the man to "restore the Republican Party to Reagan's default settings."
Australian scientist Cameron Jones puts nanocrystals on the bottom of his CDs. And prints fractals on them. And grows bacteria, yeasts, and fungi on them. What's perhaps the most surprising about this is that when these CDs are actually played, they sound pretty cool. More details can be found here and here. [Last four links are MP3, MP3, PDF, and PDF, respectively.]
Glitch Art. When software fucks up, their display on-screen sometimes goes with them. Beflix finds the art in these glitches, and in all kinds: glitchy circuit design printouts and electron scans, for example.