I’ll be honest: I’ve never quite understood speed running.
I mean, yes, I understand the concept of speed running games and how it works, but I suppose I’ve never completely understood the overall appeal. That’s not to knock on speed gamers - you do you! - but I am more of a meanderer when it comes to my games. When I watch a speedrunner click rapidly through all of the dialogue or skip huge chunks of my favorite RPGs, I get a little squirrely.
That said, I have found myself gradually coming to accept and even enjoy speed runs, especially of older games like Super Mario Brothers or Contra. I don’t think I’d ever get into performing one myself, but there are tons of speedrunners out there who are supremely fun to watch.
I’d heard of Games Done Quick before, but never really paid it a lot of mind previously because, as I said, speed runs weren’t really my thing. Typically, there’s a huge in-person event, but it’s been canceled this year because, you know, reasons. This year they’ve moved their format entirely online so that we can all watch from the comfort of our own homes.
For the unfamiliar, here are a few fun facts about Games Done Quick (GDQ):
What I’ve found most fun about the format of GDQ are the way the speedrunners interact with their viewership. You can make donations toward a certain incentive, too, like a bonus speedrun, showcases of additional tricks or glitches, or things like naming a player character in the game.
Summer Games Done Quick started this past Sunday and will end on the 23rd, so don’t miss out! This weeklong showcase of some of the world’s best speedrunners is free to watch. Don’t forget that they’re raising money for Doctors Without Borders and your donations will go to an excellent cause!
If you’re looking to watch a particular game, you can see a full schedule here. And don’t worry if you miss something - there’s a huge collection of past streams here for you to peruse.
Are you a fan of GDQ or speedrunning in general? Share your thoughts with me!
I never really got the appeal of speedrunning too but that was a couple of years ago. Once I watched some runs of games I played a lot when I was a kid. (Star Wars: Jedi Knight Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Episode I, Pokémon Crystal and Final Fantasy VIII) I was amazed how those games got manipulated and broken to be finished as quickly as possible. The runner got through the first level of Outcast in a matter of seconds by building up speed and making a massive jump to the end. This level took me like half an hour when I was a kid. All these tricks that are used are really cool, like filling up the ram in Windwaker so certain objects don't get spawned in. I find the awful games block to be the most fun to watch, though I'm not sure they will have that this year.
Sounds like we played a lot of the same games as kids! I agree that the way these speed runners utilize hacks or just sheer skill to break records and get through these games is really impressive - and at times, addictive! - to watch.
I didn't realize that Awful Games Done Quick was also a thing, so I looked into it - seems there's a 2020 highlight reel from back in March? I just started watching it and already I'm entertained. Thanks for mentioning it!
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