Cody “Kingblunkers” Allison here.
This week I encourage you all to take a break from video games. Seriously take a break… because there is something awesome happening this week that is one of the highlights of my year.
Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ)
AGDQ- Awesome Games Done Quick. <- click here now!
But GDQ is a group of speedrunners out in the public eye for a good cause.
What is speedrunning you might ask? Nothing to do with exercise or physical running, but it’s a whole other breed of video gamers. The gamers beat video games as fast as they can. As I am writing this I am watching a Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS run, where the speed runner BenStephens56 is destroying everyone’s childhood favorite in just two hours.
Thats right, 120 minutes to beat a game that probably took you months. And you’re asking yourself how do they do it? Are they just really good? Are they cheating? The answer is… Yes.
It depends on the game and run, and the community that supports it.
I personally do not speedrun, but i love to watch these evil geniuses abuse and perfect games.
But as i said you beat video games as fast as you can, however you can.
There are some rules and guidelines that i can share. The two most common categories of speedrunning are any% and 100%.
Any% means just complete it, glitch your way through, just get to what the community determines is the end of the game as quick as you can.
And 100% is pretty self explanatory. Beat the game in its entirety. That means no skipping levels/bosses/gathering all items. Etc. Many games have their own subcategories. There still might be glitches and abusing flaws in the developer’s code, but you are experiencing every “objective” in the game.
I admit, I bandwagon for speedrunning. I don’t care at all about it except for the two GDQ events during the year, but i love these events for many reasons.
Games I know getting destroyed.
I love watching games that i have played, done better. It’s amazing to see someone do something with such ease that i specifically have experienced and have died/failed many, many times. Two of my personal favorites that i will watch every year if its there is Kingdom Hearts 2 and Super Mario Sunshine. These are two of my favorite games that took me hours and hours.
I love watching Kingdom hearts because it’s just a great game and it takes a lot of time to play it, so i love that i can watch a playthrough of it in just one afternoon. It’s like experiencing it all again in fast forward. Super Mario Sunshine i like to watch, because it’s a game that i know the mechanics are difficult and don’t do what you want them to, but these people are masters of these mechanics.
Exposure to new games
Every year i see a run of a game that someone abuses the crap out of that i’ve never seen.
Last GDQ i saw a run of Cloudbuilt which i actually owned, but i never played. And seeing someone play it to the highest caliber, made me want to finally download and play it. And its great! Think parkour with jetpacks. It’s also an opportunity to save me a few bucks. I see someone play a game i was thinking about buying, and it looked fun to watch, but not something i would enjoy playing, so it just gives me exposure to more games without spending as much time or money.
When you watch these runs, the players often explain why or how a trick works. And they truly are some of the most clever players i’ve ever seen. These people spend their free time playing these games over and over and over. Some resources I found on the internet estimate that Legend of Zelda on the 3DS should take about 24 hours of game play. To beat it in 8% of the time of an average user is insane. And the runners will explain how they figured out that, for example, you can clip your hookshot through walls and shoot a surface on the other side of the wall and it will pull Link through it. Awesome.
Or even as simply as playing a game in the Japanese version because Japanese characters take less time to scroll through than english language characters when that annoying cutscene has unskippable text. These poor game devs spend so much time trying to make a solid, well built game. And these people make a hobby of exploiting their mistakes.
And speedrunners have a healthy competition and camaraderie among each other. It’s not a sport, there are no champions who sit up top and talk trash on those below them, it’s people who learn how to trick and exploit the technology behind games and they work together to discover these things and share them. They want more people to find even more tricks and glitches to beat the game even faster than before. I think too many times, we fall in love with a game or hobby and because it’s ours we want to protect it, and get mad at “posers” and “noobs” who we think misrepresent our passion. Again, i am not too much apart of the speedrunning community, but a lot of my research thus far shows that this isn’t the experience newcomers will see with speedrunning.
GDQ Does Good
The last and final point that i want to point out about GDQ, is these conferences bring people together for games, but mainly it’s to raise money for Cancer prevention. This year they are raising money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation this year’s GQD (at the time of me writing this post has only been live for about 4 hours and they have already raised $44,000 dollars for preventing cancer. These are everyday people like you and me donating money because some good-hearted nerds asked you too. These are the things i wish the public eye knew about more. Gamers aren’t just people playing childish things. We are people, people who hurt and lose others to cancer. And people who gather together because we like games and we know pain, and we want to use our hobby and comfort to raise awareness and help those who need it.
My call to you is to play less games this week and just watch some people. I grew up with siblings so often i would have to share and watch others play games anyway, so now i can do it for a good cause.
If you can’t donate, that’s fine, but share the link with some friends, maybe they can.
Hit up Reddit, if you get the itch to start speedrunning. Reddit never fails.
If you have questions about speedrunning, probably don’t ask me, like I said. Just a fan. I once, tried my hand at speedrunning, but the games I like to play generally aren’t good for speedrunning. But to be a speedrunner, you need to pick a game you don’t mind logging A LOT of time on.
Well that’s all I got this time.
Cya later, gonna go watch some games.