Whether you are a committed adopter or a casual frequenter, time is the most cherished commodity available to any gamer. The restraints of life command a pervasive influence over how our spare time is distributed. So it’s critical that these precious interludes are utilised efficiently to ensure the utmost satisfaction. Of course the pursuit of “High Scores” are as defunct as video rentals, and playing games on a reduced difficulty is adjudged as feeble. Independent from the gruelling nightmare of “Souls” like games, the challenge now for many competitive players is speedrunning. A concept so foreign to me that it might as well be reprimanded at a detention centre, on the Dover coast!
The idea of expediting my experience, for the purpose of finishing a playthrough with proficient diligence, but little engaged amusement is something I’m quite accustomed too. With the constraints of life’s permissive schedules and limited accessibility to games, sometimes hastened participation is imperative. Objectives within the game necessitate a more rapid execution. Given how quickly we familiarise and assimilate ourselves into these virtual worlds, it’s only natural to pursue new challenges, via a swift negotiation of a game you enjoy. But to dedicate such a concerted effort into speedrunning a game, learning the specific techniques and exploits to complete games as quickly as possible, to an almost obsessive extent, is like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Pointless!
The speedrunning community are a committed bunch though, make no mistake. And one I do ultimately respect. Their dedication to their craft, no matter how niche the game might be is admirable. Competitive to discover new, valuable exploits that may only permit seconds of advantageous time to beat some long held record, requires a fortitude that quite simply eludes me. Being so committed to the refinement of such a diligent vocation, is a skill that I wish was transferable to the more traditional way of playing games. With the prejudicial inclination to play until I’m either bored or more often, thwarted by a spike in difficulty, to have that inherent drive to succeed, even when we apply such artificial as well as asinine objectives, encourages a kind of autonomy that is usually negated by a natural promiscuity that compels us to move on to the next exciting product.
At my age, gaming is a hobby enjoyed in sips. To savour the rich, subtle bouquet it’s vintage has to offer. If I were to start pouring wine down my gullet like a rain deprived waterfall, questions would be asked about my sobriety. To speedrun through a game, having memorised enemy positioning and timings, while blindfolded and using a dance mat as a controller, without taking a single hit in “Elden Ring is a damn impressive feat! But when people are exploiting glitches and awkwardly manoeuvring through invisible walls to bypass huge sections of a game to precipitate better times, to me is just asinine. Having said that, I am in no position to dictate how people game. That’s your perogative, one which no one has the authority to judge.