@ROM_TXT is a Twitter bot, produced by Zach Whalen in 2013. The bot scrapes ROM data related to a large corpus of historical video games on a variety of platforms, attempting to detect and tweet strings of English text. @ROM_TEXT also periodically tweets random strings which are not believed to contain English words. New tweets are posted every three hours, tagged with filenames (usually derived from game titles) and platform of origin. This bot highlights the porous relationship between multiple linguistic systems, including English and various computer languages. It also helps to provide a glimpse of the low-level textual data undergirding all video games and computer software.
@ROM_TEXT unfolds at a slow, steady pace. Over time, the bot's timeline resembles a live stream of digital information that has been rendered in slow motion and annotated with hashtags. The hashtags frequently cross-reference tweets with other posts that discuss the video games under analysis. The vertical orientation of Twitter timelines, paired with the specialized formatting pulled from ROM files, lends a poetic quality to the content which plays with and expands traditional notions of scansion.