Gotta go fast: An introduction to the world of Speedrunning
Growing up as a young man, games were always a prevalent part of my childhood. For most of us, games serve as an outlet - a way to have fun, de-stress, kick back and enjoy ourselves by living vicariously through our favourite video game characters on a digital screen.
However there's a whole other niche of the gaming community that is obsessed with going fast, and that is community of Speedrunning.
What is speedrunning, you might ask? Simply put a speedrun is a playthrough of a video game meant to be completed in the shortest amount of time. A speed runner is a video game player who accomplishes this by running through the game hundreds of times to find out the most efficient routes, possible event skips and potential glitches that the developer may have overlooked in order to beat the game as fast as possible.
The origins of the speedrunning community are not well known, but the community as whole has grown tremendously over the past few years with the advent of AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) and SGDQ (Summer Games Done Quick) being featured on Twitch, raising millions for cancer research every year. They also have individuals who are familiar with the game explaining the process for viewers who may not be familiar with the game.
Why watch a speedrun? There may be a few reasons. Maybe you need help with a certain boss/level and need to know how to clear it quicker or more easily. Maybe you're watching a speedrun of an old game and need to find that final missing star to get 100% completion. But for my friends and myself personally, the main reason for watching is that not only is it entertaining, at the end of it all, it's an amazing display of skill once you understand how much work goes into the preparation of a run.
In my next article I will go into the intricacies of what a speed run entails. There's much more to the surface than beating a game in the lowest amount of time, as that is just the final result. There's much more planning, practice and sometimes a little luck involved. Stay tuned!