Glitch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Glitch (disambiguation).
Microsoft Sam saying, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog 1,234,567,890 times", followed by a demonstration of a glitch that occurs when the letters SOI/SOY are inputted

Problems playing this file? See media help.

A glitch is a short-lived fault in a system. It is often used to describe a transient fault that corrects itself, and is therefore difficult to troubleshoot. The term is particularly common in the computing and electronics industries, and in circuit bending, as well as among players of video games, although it is applied to all types of systems including human organizations and nature.

The term derives from the German glitschig, means 'slippery', possibly entering English through the Yiddish term glitsh.[1][2]

Electronics glitch[edit]

An electronics glitch is an undesired transition that occurs before the signal settles to its intended value. In other words, glitch is an electrical pulse of short duration that is usually the result of a fault or design error, particularly in a digital circuit. For example, many electronic components, such as flip-flops, are triggered by a pulse that must not be shorter than a specified minimum duration; otherwise, the component may malfunction. A pulse shorter than the specified minimum is called a glitch. A related concept is the runt pulse, a pulse whose amplitude is smaller than the minimum level specified for correct operation, and a spike, a short pulse similar to a glitch but often caused by ringing or crosstalk. A glitch can occur in the presence of race condition in a poorly designed digital logic circuit.

Computer glitch[edit]

A computer glitch is the failure of a system, usually containing a computing device, to complete its functions or to perform them properly.

In public declarations, glitch is used to suggest a minor fault which will soon be rectified and is therefore used as a euphemism for a bug, which is a factual statement that a programming fault is to blame for a system failure.

It frequently refers to an error which is not detected at the time it occurs but shows up later in data errors or incorrect human decisions. While the fault is usually attributed to the computer hardware, this is often not the case since hardware failures rarely go undetected. Situations which are frequently called computer glitches are:

  • Incorrectly written software (software bug)
  • Incorrect instructions given by the operator (operator error) (failure to account for this possibility might also be considered a software bug)
  • Undetected invalid input data (this might also be considered a software bug)
  • Undetected communications errors
  • Computer virus
  • Computer exploiting (sometimes called "hacking")

Such glitches could produce problems such as:

  • Keyboard malfunction
  • Number key failure
  • Screen abnormalities (turned left, right or upside down)
  • Random program malfunctions
  • Abnormal program registering

Examples of computer glitches causing disruption include an unexpected shutdown of a water filtration plant in New Canaan, 2010;[3] failures in the Computer Aided Dispatch system used by the police in Austin, resulting in unresponded 911 calls;[4] and an unexpected bit flip causing the Cassini spacecraft to enter "safe mode" in November 2010.[5]

Video game glitches[edit]

See also: Software bug

Glitches/bugs are software errors that can cause drastic problems within the code, and typically go unnoticed or unsolved during the production of said software. These errors can be game caused or otherwise exploited until a developer/development team repairs them. Complex software is rarely bug-free or otherwise free from errors upon first release.

Texture/model glitches are a kind of bug or other error that causes any specific model or texture to either become distorted or otherwise to not look as intended by the developers. Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is notorious for texture glitches, among many other errors which affect most of their popular titles.[6] Many games that uses rag-doll physics in their character models in the modern era can have this happen to them. Another game that is known for its physical glitches is the Rocky boxing game for the PS2 where the bodies of the boxers are sometimes known to be morphed and distorted beyond recognition.[7]

Physics glitches are errors in a game's physics engine that causes a specific entity, be it a physics object or an NPC (Non-Player Character), to be unintentionally moved to some degree. These kinds of errors can be exploited, unlike many. The chance of a physics error happening can either be entirely random or accidentally caused. Once again, Bethesda's Skyrim and Fallout games are notorious for this glitch, as it can happen without warning and possibly result in the player being unable to start or complete certain quests due to the quest giver disappearing.[8]

Sound glitches are in which there is an error with the game's sound. These can range from sounds playing when not intended to play or even not playing at all. Occasionally, a certain sound will loop or otherwise the player will be given the option to continuously play the sound when not intended. Often, games will play sounds incorrectly due to corrupt data altering the values predefined in the code. Examples include, but are not limited to, extremely high or low pitched sounds, volume being mute or too high to understand, and also rarely even playing in reverse order/playing reversed.

The following are some examples of well-known[citation needed] glitches:

  • In Kerbal Space Program When a Kerbal falls into Jool, The kerbal will start to glitch out, and the game cuts into black and displays random numbers, this is known as the Hell Kraken
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV an infamous swing set in a park would launch the player's vehicle and do extreme damage to it. This damage can glitch the car model into having no rear end or a caved in beyond the point of even moving.
  • In Pokémon Red and Blue getting to fight with MissingNo. is a glitch that also causes other graphical and inventory glitches.
  • In the 2007 first-person shooter Bioshock a glitch could occur during the looting of Langford's safe. The safe will open, but its contents—required to proceed—will be missing, effectively bringing the player to a halt.
  • In Transformers: War for Cybertron multiplayer, a player can replace one class for another. An example could be a scout embodied in the form of a leader or truck.
  • Prior to being patched, areas in Minecraft 30,000,000 blocks away from spawn (popularly known as the Far Lands) were corrupted, alien places, due to a bug in the world generation. One side effect of visiting this world is an extreme slowdown in game speed.[9]
  • In the original Super Mario Bros, there is a well-known glitch where it is possible to access "world -1", commonly referred to as "Minus World". The level was not intentionally programmed into the game; it only exists as a result of an error in the game's programming.
  • In LittleBigPlanet, some or all levels on a user's 'Craft Earth' may either be invisible, or just have the white dotted circle. Dotted levels are still playable, but not the invisible ones.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you can do a few adjustments to "wrong warp" to the very end of the game. This significantly helps to let the game be beat in under 20 minutes.

Glitches may include incorrectly displayed graphics, collision detection errors, game freezes/crashes, sound errors, and other issues. Graphical glitches are especially notorious in platforming games, where malformed textures can directly affect gameplay (for example, by displaying a ground texture where the code calls for an area that should damage the character, or by not displaying a wall texture where there should be one, resulting in an invisible wall.). Some glitches are potentially dangerous to the game's stored data.[10] In Batman: Arkham Asylum, during Scarecrow's final hallucination, the game purposely suffers a glitch before his nightmare begins.

"Glitching" is the practice of a player exploiting faults in a video game's programming to achieve tasks normally impossible if the game's script runs as intended, such as running through walls or defying the game's physics. It is often used to gain an unfair advantage over other players in multiplayer video games. Glitches can be deliberately induced in certain home video game consoles by manipulating the game medium, such as tilting a ROM cartridge to disconnect one or more connections along the edge connector and interrupt part of the flow of data between the cartridge and the console.[11] This can result in graphic, music, or gameplay errors. Doing this, however, carries the risk of crashing the game or even causing permanent damage to the game medium.[12]

Part of the quality assurance process (as performed by game testers for video games) is locating and reproducing glitches, and then compiling reports on the glitches to be fed back to the programmers so that they can repair the bugs. Certain games have a cloud-type system for updates to the software that usually repairs coding faults and other errors in the games.[10]

TV glitch[edit]

In broadcasting, a corrupted signal may glitch in the form of jagged lines on the screen, misplaced squares, static looking effects, freezing problems, or inverted colors. The glitches may affect the video and/or audio (usually audio dropout) or the transmission. These glitches may be caused by a variety of issues, interference from portable electronics or microwaves, damaged cables at the broadcasting center, or weather.[13]

Popular culture[edit]

  • A 1976 novel by Steve Wilson, The Lost Traveller, deals with a post-apocalyptic world in which descendants of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang act as paramilitary forces for a community called the Fief. Over the years, the Angels have developed numerous quasi-religious beliefs, including a pantheon of gods. One of the minor deities is Glitch, the godlet of hangups and glitches.
  • The 1976 nonfiction book CB Bible includes glitch in its glossary of citizens band radio slang, meaning "an indefinable technical defect in CB equipment", indicating the term was already then in use on citizens band.[14]
  • In the 1987 science fiction film RoboCop directed by Paul Verhoeven, ED-209, a state-of-the-art military robot, malfunctions during its presentation to the executive board of the fictional OCP (Omni Consumer Products). The result is the brutal killing of a company executive. Shortly after the incident, another executive states that it happened due to a "minor glitch".
  • In the 1994-2001 computer animated series ReBoot the character of Bob has a key tool called "Glitch". This is a reference to a computer glitch.
  • In the 1999 film The Matrix there's a "glitch in the Matrix", a sense of déjà vu that occurs when the enemy machines alter an aspect of the Matrix, a digital reality in which all the inhabitants believe that they are living in the real world. This is seen when the protagonist, Neo, sees a black cat walk by twice.
  • The 2005 movie Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch involves Stitch reverting to his old destructive programming due to a psychological glitch; much of the tension of the movie is derived from characters' attempts to cover up or repair the glitch.
  • The 2007 television miniseries Tin Man includes a character called Glitch, half of whose brain has been stolen.
  • The 2008 short film The Glitch, opening film and best science fiction finalist at Dragon Con Independent Film Festival 2008, deals with the disorientation of late-night TV viewer Harry Owen (Scott Charles Blamphin), who experiences 'heavy brain-splitting digital breakdowns.'[15]
  • The 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph includes a character, Vanellope von Schweetz, who is a glitch in "Sugar Rush" the videogame she belongs to; her status as a glitch results in the (relatively uncontrollable) ability to teleport across short distances (a position glitch).
  • The nine episode episode in the third season of the CBeebies show "What's the Big Idea?", called "Lost Lantern" is about Hugo and friends hanging more lanterns during new year,Hugo dropped other lanterns in night. The episode also features purposeful screen lag and TV glitches.
  • The fifteenth episode in the fifth season of the Cartoon Network show "Adventure Time", called "A Glitch is a Glitch" is about Ice King creating a glitch in a universal source code that would delete all of the world's "coding", causing glitchy effects in the real world and destroying matter. The episode also features purposeful screen lag and TV glitches.

Etymology[edit]

Canadian Oxford lists it as a 20th-century word of unknown origin. Some reference books, including Random House's American Slang, claim it comes from the German word glitschen ("to slip") and the Yiddish word gletshn ("to slide or skid"). Either way it is a relatively new term. So new, in fact, that on July 23, 1965, Time Magazine felt it necessary to define it in an article: "Glitches—a spaceman's word for irritating disturbances." In relation to the reference by Time Magazine, the term has been believed to enter common usage during the American Space Race of the 1950s, where it was used to describe minor faults in the rocket hardware that were difficult to pinpoint.[1][2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dictionary.com". Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  3. ^ "Water filtration plant temporarily shut down due to computer glitch". watertechonline.com. December 6, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  4. ^ "911 computer glitch led to police delay". Austin News kxan.com. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  5. ^ "NASA revives Saturn probe, three weeks after glitch". msnbc.com. 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  6. ^ "Bethesda Criticised over buggy releases". 
  7. ^ "Game Glitches - Angry Video Game Nerd (YouTube video summarizing some well known video game glitches, including Rocky)". 
  8. ^ "Page containing all known Skyrim glitches". 
  9. ^ http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Far_Lands
  10. ^ a b Ofoe, Emmanuel-Yvan; William Pare (March 06 - March 12.2008). "Testing, testing, testing". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  11. ^ "It’s Not A Glitch. It’s A Feature. It’s Art. It’s Beautiful.". 
  12. ^ "Killing a Sega Genesis Cartridge (YouTube Video of a cartridge becoming permanently broken during the process of cartridge tilting)". 
  13. ^ "Signal Strength Variables". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  14. ^ Bibb, Porter (1976). CB Bible. New York: Doubleday and Company. p. 94. 
  15. ^ Doto, Bob (November 7, 2008). "NY Horror Film Fest Night 4: The Shorts". Retrieved March 3, 2011.