ROM Corruption and Video Game Art

As a kid, I remembered reading an op-ed by Roger Ebert arguing that video games could never be a true art form in the way that cinema is a true art form. I don't quite remember the particularities of that argument but that dude is long dead and of course video games are an art form that defined my generation, you can't contest the beauty of a Sonic sprite animation or the Super Mario Theme Song. However, video games are more than a passive medium like film, they are digital environments that can entertain a variety of artistic interventions.

Glitching video game ROMs is a way to treat a game as a text and reframe its stories and motives. Apart from the intricacies of databending, there is an element of performance in the process, either by the player or by the game itself. These unexpected moments also generate photographic frames and jagged bits of cinema.

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