Don’t have time to stop and smell the roses? Excellent—you’ll like speedrunning.
Speedrunning , trying to complete a video game in the fastest time possible, is almost as old as gaming itself. At least, it’s almost as old as games that have a definite end point or staging points, because speedrunning a game with infinitely repeating levels is Sisyphean. That’s good fun until the novelty wears off.
Speedrunning needs boundaries. Start with a game that you can finish or a game with lots of individual levels with their own ending points. Then try to complete them in the fastest possible time.
It seems so easy. First, you find a nice path or a little trick to cut a corner. You practice for a while until you have a great time. Then, as you’re preparing to claim your bragging rights on the Internet, you find out that other people have done the same thing, only faster. If you’re drawn to finding out their secrets and beating their times, you have what it takes to be a speedrunner.
What’s involved in speedrunning a game? On a technical level, there are three main points: route planning, sequence breaking ( [Hack #69] ), and tricks. On a personal level, there’s determination, persistence, skill, practice, and time.
Why do it? Possibly for peer respect. There are certainly bragging rights attached to being the first person to demonstrate a route or trick. For money and power? Unlikely. I’m not aware of a single millionaire who made ...