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Slack’s error page is actually an interactive scene from a defunct game

It wasn’t long ago that working in America was defined by a common image: people gathering around an office water cooler every morning to drink coffee and discuss the latest episode of shows like Dancing with the Stars (team Bindi, by the way). However, with 1 in 5 Americans now working from home thanks to the rise of internet, that image has become a little more dated in recent years. Instead of a water cooler, these online workers often employ chat programs like Slack, which allow them a sort of virtual office-space to gather around. With it, they’re easily able to discuss…

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The vast, lurid possibilities of PNG glitches

Glitch art is wonderful. It has the potential to be beautiful and horrifying. The best is often both at the same time. It’s got so popular now that most of us can appreciate glitch art on a visual level. But when it comes to talking about it, well, we don’t really have a clue. There isn’t an established vocabulary surrounding glitch art so we’re left to just say “wow” or “wtf?!” We can do better.  One person who is helping with that is Tokyo-based artist UCNV. He’s delivered a document that aims to help us understand how to glitch PNGs. If…

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Metal Gear Online glitches result in a beautiful papery garden

As an escape from its arid deserts and flustered robot politics, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain offers Mother Base—an offshore plant near the Seychelles, a place to chill out between missions, where you can overlook the surrounding view of the ocean blue. Even so, it is still made of refined steel and filled up with saluting soldiers calling your name; hardly a proper retreat from the battlefield. What you might want instead is somewhere populated by paper trees and where shrubs and bushes are cut out from rigid stencils. Think of something resembling the material world of Tearaway: inviting you to…

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Glitch Noir looks into the corporate drone hell of our near future

The Candidate, director Michael Ritchie’s 1972 political satire, depicted an exaggerated political milieu in which even the most earnest of candidates is shallow and ultimately believes in nothing more than getting elected. Ritchie’s exaggerated world, in other words, is the world we now live in. Therein lies the risk and perverse beauty of genre cinema: sometimes a filmmaker’s transgressive vision becomes our everyday reality. Writer, director, and animator Cody Healey-Conelly’s Glitch Noir is a genre short whose dystopian future may imminently be upon us. It is about streams of information and the use of drones. More specifically, a major company’s…

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Glitchspace switches intimidation from its programming puzzles to its architecture

Using a programming gun to solve environmental puzzles is one of those ideas that works great in theory more than it does in practice. That’s what Space Budgie discovered upon releasing the first alpha build of Glitchspace last year, at least. Yes, despite the positive reception from early critics and fellow game developers, Glitchspace proved to be polarizing among the first batch of players. “Some were on board straight away with the developed programming mechanic, whilst others were left confused and alienated by a title that felt completely closed off to them,” Space Budgie said. it layers each programming idea on…

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A Twitter bot turns old Sierra games into beautiful glitches

There’s a narrator who routinely mutters random, bewildering sentences to Adam Mathes on his Twitter feed. He’s fine with it. He put the narrator there himself. It’s actually somewhat of a comfort. This narrator exists under the Twitter handle @quest_ebooks but started out life in Sierra Entertainment’s many classic adventure games. Mathes grew up playing those adventure games, he loved them, and so he wanted to bring their “omniscient, antagonistic, baffling” narrators through his life with him. This is why he created a Twitter bot for them to exist within. Mathes was inspired by Andrew Vestal’s “YouAreCarrying” bot. That one tweets…

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Bring order from chaos with this NES glitch simulator

Near the top of a list of a child’s worst fears is an unsaved game crash. It comes swiftly with an onslaught of colors flashing on the screen, the crackle of the soundtrack being halted to a resonating hum, and the impending feeling of doom that you’re probably going to need to take on Bomb Man all over again. Picture Processing is an NES CPU simulator where you try to unscramble glitched-out images from NES titles, back to their original, playable form. The entire title is a play on the colors and randomness of old NES glitches—the start screen is…