Speedrunning, the art of beating video games as quickly as possible, has been around since the earliest days of gaming. However, it was in the early 2000s when high-level play really began to explode, thanks to the widespread availability of high-speed internet and the emergence of streaming platforms like Twitch. Today, the world of speedrunning is a thriving subculture, with dedicated players constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and sharing their techniques and strategies with anyone willing to learn.
One of the joys of speedrunning is the feeling of mastery that comes from finally nailing a difficult trick or technique. Many speedruns require not only lightning-fast reflexes but also an intimate knowledge of the game’s mechanics, as well as the ability to think on the fly and adapt to changing circumstances. Whether it’s executing a series of precise jumps in a platformer or pulling off a series of complex glitches in a first-person shooter, there’s a certain thrill that comes from knowing you’re in complete control of the game.
Another joy of speedrunning is the sense of community that develops around it. Because the world of high-level play is so small and specialized, speedrunners tend to be a tight-knit group, with players from all over the world sharing tips, strategies, and stories. Many speedrunning communities have active Discord chat channels, subreddits, and forums, where players can mingle and interact with others who share their passion. And of course, there are also plenty of speedrunning events, both online and in person, where players can meet up and compete against each other.
However, speedrunning is not without its challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge is the fact that many games are simply not designed with speedrunning in mind, and can be frustratingly difficult or unpredictable to play. Some games have extremely long loading times, making it almost impossible to set a fast time. Others have RNG (random number generation) elements that can throw even the most skilled player off their game. And even when everything goes right, speedruns are often fragile, with a single mistake or miscalculation leading to an instant reset.
There’s also the fact that speedrunning can be an incredibly time-consuming hobby. Getting good at a game often requires months or years of practice, and even once you’ve mastered a game, there’s always room for improvement. Endless hours of grinding and resetting can leave a player feeling burned out and frustrated, especially if progress is slow or nonexistent.
Nevertheless, for those who are willing to put in the time and effort, speedrunning can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling hobby. And with new games being released all the time, there’s always a new challenge waiting just around the corner. So whether you’re a seasoned speedrunner or a curious newcomer, it’s never too late to join the world of high-level play and see what all the fuss is about. Who knows? You might just discover a new way to enjoy your favorite games, and meet some amazing people along the way.