Database for Animation Studies


Breaking The Stack: Understanding Videogame Animation through Tool-Assisted Speedruns

This article examines the ways videogames become animated by looking at gaming practices that subvert traditional notions of play: specifically tool-assisted speedruns (TAS). A TAS is a playthrough of a videogame that is preprogrammed by a human so that the inputs can be automatically played back in full without a human operator. This practice requires an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of gaming systems, often to the point of productively breaking the games through glitches and exploits. These extreme practices give a unique insight into the ways animation occurs within videogames and reveals games to be animated in a variety of ways that are often not primarily directed towards the visual nor humans. This article outlines four of these modes of animation separating them into multi-tiered ‘layers of animation’: sensory output, game states, code, material, and operator. TASs help to demonstrate these layers are actually discrete forms of animation that do not necessarily impact one another from becoming individually animated.

  • Title (Japanese)
  • Publish Date
  • Authors
  • Publication
Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Publication Volume
  • Publication Page Number
  • Publication’s Website
  • DOI
  • Keywords

Related Lists