Bug Hunter is a game design research-creation project devoted to the study of glitches as labor. By documenting the production and reception of an experimental glitch-based first-person platformer, this project maps the creative forces animated by glitches conceptualized as an unavoidable design phenomenon and emergent gameplay features. The focal point of this inquiry is the conversation and productive exchange between the art of making games and the resisting yet generative materiality of the glitch. In terms of player experience, the game itself asks a political question. It wants to determine in which capacity glitches do (or do not) have the power to raise critical consciousness about 1) game design as rhetorical strategy instrumentalizing and commodifying the glitch and 2) glitching as a rhetorical tactic that can be both destructively exploitative and creatively emancipatory. Inspecting the dialectical relationship between work and play through the glitch prism forges a unique vantage point to examine how glitches can operate within the confines of game design and gameplay to drive these two domains toward radical aesthetics, experimentations, and critics. From that perspective, glitches can be analyzed as vectors of politicization holding the potential to sculpt diverse political sensibilities existing in between the neoliberal opportunist and the anarchist tinkerer. Demystifying how game design, games, and glitches partake in this ideological shaping process is on top of Bug Hunter’s agenda.
You can follow the project on Facebook, Twitter, GitHub, and thebughunter.ca.