It’s a strange phenomenon that the more time you spend on this Earth, the less time you seem to have to enjoy it on a daily basis. To be able to enjoy the things you once could fully invest a few hours into, sacrifices must be made to fit it into your schedule. You might watch a movie at 2x speed. You might just read the synopsis instead. You may even be desperate enough to just ask a friend for the jist of the plot and whether it was good or not, with no intention of ever seeing it yourself.
Luckily, within the world of videogames, there’s an entire community out there that are aware of your hectic lives and are hellbent on ensuring you can keep up your love for gaming! (Not really, but one can pretend.)
Speedrunning (or the act of completing a game as fast as humanly possible) can allow you to watch an entire game’s worth of content in a fraction of the intended amount of hours intended by the developer. It’s not just useful as a fresh new platform for entertainment either, it’s helping make the world a better place as well.
Although the speedrunning community has existed for over a decade at this point, it has in recent years been brought into the mainstream of game coverage with SDA’s Games Done Quick charity events. The annual event has sponsored and has raised almost 10 million dollars overall! Charities sponsored include Doctors Without Borders, Organization for Autism Research, and the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Along with preventing cancer (no big deal), the speedrunning community has grown to be one of the most cohesive and friendly environments, one that thrives on friendly competition. Runners often share tips and strategies (strats for short) on the latest glitches and shortcuts discovered in their most recent selected game.
Currently the world record for Super Mario 64, a game that is almost unanimously remembered fondly, is at a staggering 6 minutes and 44 seconds. Granted, this was heavily influenced by the use of glitches and exploitations of the game’s code, the speedrunner most likely spent entire days worth of hours perfecting his craft and memorizing every single footstep Mario had to make to achieve that. To see every frame of this poetry in motion, watch the video below.