August Roundup: ‘Bugs’

Hello again readers, it’s once again my pleasure to bring you another edition of Blogs of the Round Table! Throughout August we asked you to discuss all things ‘Bugs’.

This month we want you to talk to us about glitches, hiccups, shortcomings, exploits and any other kind of ‘bugs’ that show up in games. Do they add character, or make games worse? Should games strive for perfection or personality? Have you ever developed a game where a bug turned out to be a feature? Can a bug really “break” a game or can it be something that draws you in? And what about those who look at them as challenges against a developer: maybe exploiting bugs is a way to insert the player’s subjectivity into a system. We want to hear your post-patch annoyances, your funniest and fondest broken moments, your unexpected trip past the boundaries of what you and the developer expected out of the experience.

This month has been a short one, with only two submissions, but both are very strong and intelligent pieces, so I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did!

Alisha Karabinus of Not Your Mama’s Gamer considers how our paradigm of games and death would have been different if arcades charged a quarter for time rather than for a one-up:

we would have learned to move and dodge in different ways; we’d have privileged the exploits and glitches that allowed us to skip whole sections of games, to move further and faster… and we maybe wouldn’t have cared as much about dying as we did about exploring to find those secret ways. Those accidents of code, and those other bugs that became features.

Meanwhile, Taylor Hidalgo at Thesaurus Rex patiently describes the significance and difficulty of stealth in games, especially tracking bugs in Animal Crossing.

And there we have it. Short but just as sweet! Keep an eye out for September’s BoRT and don’t forget to keep an eye out for all our activity on Critical Distance through Twitter.

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