Gameplay Journal Entry #6 — Super Mario 64 Glitches

There are many glitches that exist for the many games that release every year to the public. For me, one of those games that I remember fondly is Super Mario 64, mostly because it was a good game but another reason is because of the glitches involved in the game that allow you to speedrun, which at the time really changed my perspective of video games in general. The glitch I'm referring to is the Backwards Long Jump (BLJ), which allows Mario to jump backward’s as fast as possible since the developers didn’t put a cap on Mario’s speed going backward thus allowing him to clip through walls and move at rapid speeds. Also because he is going so fast, the audio in the game glitches out with Mario’s “wahoo” phrase is being said 20 times a second. As I mentioned, visually, it goes by very quick but as a kid, seeing this glitch in the game changed my perspective and overall experience with digital technology since not only are glitches unexpected and unique but they also make you think of what else video games have in them that have not been found such as glitches to help make the game an overall different experience than just playing a normal playthrough of it.

“Through their deconstruction and repurposing, the perceivable glitch artefacts signify indexically the invisible layers of computational processes that are usually hidden inside the black box” (Ferreira and Ribas 115). With this in mind, glitches as a whole can be thought of as parts of a game that are hidden unless a certain action is done that finally unlocks the glitch that we see in a game. I always wonder what a game like Super Mario 64 or any game, in general, would be without glitches and that perhaps if players didn’t deconstruct Super Mario 64 and find this glitch that many people wouldn’t deconstruct as many games and find these glitches, not just visually but also audibly in that sense as well. Glitches as a whole can create new types of experiences either it is unique or terrifying depending on the kind of glitch but when it comes to the BLJ glitch, I feel like it’s the kind of glitch you can watch and be amazed at how it works and how visually crazy it looks for the seconds that it occurs. While many glitches are still hidden inside the black box and may well be hidden forever, I feel that glitches in games will always be found and that each one will always be a new and unique experience visually and audibly for the player.

Link to Let’s Play: (Jump to 1:05, 2:25, 4:13, or 4:24 to see Glitch)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLphAlLQNiE&t=95s

Reference:

Ferreira, Pedro, and Ribas Luisa. Post-Digital Aesthetics in Contemporary Audiovisual Art. xCoAx, 2020.

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