When asked to describe what a “glitch” is, I would describe it as a gameplay interaction that was not intended by the developer. Every game has some manner and volume of glitches, but I specifically want to discuss one of my, and many other’s, favorite glitch — The Ditman glitch.
Menkman describes a glitch as “… a wonderful interruption that shifts an object away from its ordinary form and discourse, towards the ruins of destroyed meaning”(Menkman-Glitch Studies Manifesto, pg 3).
This accurately encapsulates what the Ditman glitch achieves, and aligns with my personal view of what a glitch is. The Ditman glitch allows the player to do all in game actions faster. This in itself is a huge boon, as the player can now easily outrun all enemies and can even attack faster, making combat a breeze. But the Ditman glitch goes even further in its uses.
The Ditman glitch can be used to clip through walls in several sections of the game. Notably, it can be used to skip the major boss of the Castle, the minecart section, and the double El Gigante fight. Of these three sections, the most notable one is the minecart section, as it is a fixed time section. In speed running, these sections are mind-numbing, as mechanic input is irrelevant on your time scored. By glitching out of the minecart at the beginning with precise inputs, the player can skip the entire section and just leisurely run to the next load zone.
These interactions were obviously not intended by the developers, and break the core gameplay loop. While they are detrimental to the new user experience (as the player would miss out on sections of the game) for the experienced speed runner it is a godsend; making subsequent runs faster and allowing some of the more tedious sections to be ignored entirely.