Game Night, Video Games

What Makes Speedrunning Incredible

I shouldn’t have to explain what a speedrun is. You play the game as quickly as you can. You could never have guessed, I know.

Speedrunning is one of those things that most people who play games have tried at least once, whether they even knew it or not. Let’s face it: it’s fun to go fast! It’s fun to finish a game slightly faster than you did the last time. Improving is always satisfying, whether you’re practicing at sports or just playing a game. No one would say “Yeah, I wish I didn’t get better at this thing. I’d prefer to still now know what I’m doing.”

Going fast and getting better is fun. It’s fun to do yourself and it’s just as fun to watch! Why else would racing events still be around? Whether it be someone running or driving a car or just playing a game, people enjoy the thrill of watching something get done quickly.

You know what else they love? Competition. We want to see people battling it out to see who’s the best. It’s at the heart of basically everything we do. Sports, games, hell, even jobs get in on it with competitive pay (which is all kinds of fucked up and corrupt, but you get the point). It’s fun overcoming your own limits. But it’s also fun to know who’s faster than you are and race to catch up with them.

These are the fundamental tenants that make speedrunning so enjoyable. You get to watch someone play a game hella fast, often breaking it in the process (we’ll get to that), and compete with others for the fastest time. It’s a simple, easy to understand spectator sport.

An incredibly honest one, at that. The speedrunning community often goes to excruciating lengths to determine whether or not a run is legitimate. Some of the techniques they employ are downright intimidating! They’ll straight-up look at the constant static line of the audio files of a run to listen for splices in the footage!

Well, not really listen, since you can just see that stuff if you use audio engineering software, but you get my point.

This environment has lead to a very healthy and honest competitive scene. Not to mention a very open and friendly one! There are dozens of forums and Discord servers solely dedicated to people sharing neat little tips and tricks they’ve discovered about a certain game or helping newcomers shave down their time.

They’re crazy smart, too. God knows how they figure out some of these glitches, but good God, dude! They have figured out some truly insane exploits to trim time! From exploiting glitches to leaving the boundaries of the level, these guys have done pretty much everything they can to every game you can imagine!

On top of that, they’ve got a great sense of humor. Meme speedruns are some of the most simple but fun things you can enjoy. From Mario Odyssey Nipple %, in which you get Mario’s shirt off as fast as possible, to Cooking Mama 2’s Burnt Apple Pie % (thank you, Jaiden), these guys know how to have a dumb, fun time.

I could go on and on about the insane things these guys do. From Randomizer mods for classic games like Super Metroid or Link to the Past to charity races, these guys have done it all. Speedrunners are crazy, they’re fun, and they’re very open-armed to newcomers. This is a side to the video game community that I always love to come back to.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to work on my Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Drown Link % run. I don’t think that’s a thing… I’m gonna make that a thing.

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