Before the topic of glitches can be meaningfully discussed, a definition of the word needs to be agreed upon. For the purpose of this discussion, I use the term “glitch” to mean an unintended visual or mechanical effect that takes place inside of the game space. This broad phrasing helps to lasso in edge cases in the game world that other analysts might argue over and help create a unified, agreeable common vocabulary. I agree, to an extent, when Menkman calls glitches “a wonderful interruption that shifts an object away from its ordinary form and discourse” (Menkman 340) but disagree with her next sentiment stating that the glitch drives objects towards “the ruins of destroyed meaning” (Menkman 340). While a glitch diverges from its original intention and purposes, it does not necessarily lose the form and meaning it originally had. In many cases, the glitch gives the objects new meaning built upon the original intentions of the object, rather than destroys it outright.

An example of this can be seen in the above video from the video game Crysis. The game is a first-person shooter that takes place on a string of islands. In this particular map, when the player kills a shark near the shore, it causes more sharks to spawn. These newly spawned, rapidly reproducing sharks can swim and move on land. Sharks are horrifying to fight in the water, but the player is able to shoot them from land, making them a surmountable enemy. With the glitch causing the sharks to be able to traverse land, it does not destroy the concept of the shark or its effect on the game, but removes limitations and adds a new element of horror to the fight. Coupled with its new spawn rate, the shark’s difficulty in battle, skyrockets.

Lovink; Miles, Geert; Rachel Somers. Video Vortex Reader II : Moving Images Beyond Youtube. Amsterdam, Institute of Network Cultures, 2011,