Forums  /  Speedrunning  /  writing a paper on speedrunning-- care to answer some questions?
  SquidbirdySquidbirdy

Hi everyone!
I am in a college class about modern-day folk culture. We were tasked with writing a paper on a modern group of people in a community with similar interests, and naturally I came here! Speedrunning has such a friendly, competitive and sharing community, I was wondering if you could answer one or two of these questions for the paper I'm writing?

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?
What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?
Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?
How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?

Any and all answers are valid and appreciated! Thanks!

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  MitsuneeMitsunee

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?:
I saw a tweet about a GDQ (honestly not sure if it was AGDQ or SGDQ) in 2013, checked it out, followed a bunch of streamers I saw there.

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?:
By definition that'd be going as fast as possible while abiding to a common ruleset agreed on by the game's community.

Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?:
I mostly watch streams for the streamers nowadays, so that's kinda unrelated. I speedrun myself because it's fun and gives me reasons to spend more time with games that I like and would've otherwise quit after completing (as in 100% whatever that means for the game at hand).

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?:
Thinking back most of my current friendships and communities that I'm part of are because of speedrunning. There's a single discord I'm in from a german youtube channel I've known for longer than these 5-6 years. I also started streaming specifically because of speedrunning, once I got better internet (which is still garbage, but barely useable) and started learning Portal any% inbounds (actually my 2nd speedgame, because I got started with Fire Emblem Awakening waaay before I had a capture card and also didn't know about the rules that are now on the leaderboard, which I couldn't find back then).

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  drgrumbledrgrumble

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?
I saw a Lobosjr run of Lords of the Fallen on YT and enjoyed it, so I tried speedrunning it myself and became interested in other speedgames and the wider community.

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?
It's personal to each runner but for me the most important thing is the community, I wouldn't be doing this if I had to keep all my runs, strats and thoughts to myself. The ultimate goal for me is to achieve a time that I am happy with in games I enjoy running.

Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?
I play and watch, although when time is at a premium I tend to prioritise practice over watching other people's runs (except for runs that need verification). I also spend a lot of time in discords talking with other runners. I like it because things are always changing, there is normally something new going on like a new strat or a glitch or a new game being explored, and it's fun to get your teeth into that kind of thing with like minded people.

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?
Speedrunning is a massive part of my life and constitutes my main pastime outside of work/family. It means that I never usually run out of something to do, like a new game to route or a PB to try for, or 'speedmin' (speedrunning admin - trademark pending) to catch up on. I have made some good friends at the mobile speedrunning discord ( https://discord.gg/F2fJjUg in case anyone was interested) and there is always someone online there to chat with if I feel like it as well as competitions and suggestions.
The impact has not been 100% positive though. Speedrunning (especially the peripheral aspects like discords etc) can be addictive and all consuming (for me personally at least) and unless I am disciplined it can impact on my concentration and the quality and amount of time I spend on work, family and irl friends. Sometimes I feel like real life is getting in the way of speedrunning when it is actually the other way around. There are also times (which I think most runners get) when you wonder why you are doing it especially when you are running an inactive game or grinding for hours just to make small timesaves. Usually this sense of futility is replaced pretty quickly by excitement when a new glitch gets found or something else happens. This kind of thing isn't uncommon for hobbies, sports and anything which is fun but takes time, but I think it is a problem that is especially pronounced in speedrunning because it is so naturally time consuming.

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  HowDenKingHowDenKing

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?
As with many people here, I saw a GDQ video, then checked out more, ended up here.
no special "I had a calling!" story, sadly.

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?
Going fast, or in some cases, moderately faster than regular.

Do you play or just watch?
Both.

Why do you like it so much?
When you play a game you love,
there's only so much you can do in "regular" play until you've either done everything,
or just plainly get bored.

With speedrunning, you have a clear goal,
and that goal can actually get further away from you as more stuff about the game gets discovered.
First, you start by trashing the dumb "70 hours of gameplay" marketing stuff,
then you go lower, and lower, and lower - it's a thrill in it's own to see the time get lower

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?
Not much, it's rather been the opposite, where I wanted to practice or do a run,
but real life went and smashed that.
But if I had to think of something,
I guess I've become more aware of how long it takes to do certain things?
like, moving to point a -> b and how even slight optimizations in pathing / when to start makes a difference in total time.

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  NariomNariom

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?

I first learned about speedrunning through youtube with a show called 88pmh then Speed Gaming. They were doing commentary on recorded tas and sr, and invinting runners to show their run. GDQ also peeked my interest at the time. I couldn't record much but I started doing The Binding of Isaac runs race style on my own. Then the guys from 88mph/SG presented a run of Steamworld Dig as an easy to pick, all around speedrun (some rng, a bit of routing, a few tricks, some sequence breaking). They started a small community around it so I gave it a try. They later developped the Ultime Decathlon (10 games to learn and race in a limited amount of time) which is still running, I didnt stick around. I got started on TBOI speedrun and it remains my main sr.

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?

Go fast 🙂 Have fun, tackle a new challenge in a game you already completed.

Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?

Both. It's a way of keeping playing a game when I exhausted the content but still want some more. It's very impressive to watch, satisfying to achieve. It's competitive without getting nasty. "Sane competition" I don't know if it translates well. It's also nice to be involved in a community with tournaments, recasting and so on.

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?

I guess it's mostly an extension of gaming as a hobby for me.

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  Lieutenant_BooLieutenant_Boo

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?
I can't remember exactly which one it was but a news article popped up on my facebook page about there being a new WR in Super Mario Bros (I know it was one of the 4:56 records, but damn if I know which). After another one showed up, I started checking out more speedruns on here and old GDQ runs on Youtube. Eventually I found a couple of games I enjoyed on here, and started speedrunning myself.
What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?
Going fast and having records is nice, but I just like to have fun, break games, and sometimes explain crazy things to other people.
Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?
Both, but watching a lot more than playing. It's fun because speedrunners have a different mindset from casual gamers. We look for ways to avoid collecting items in the game. We find ways to get places earlier than intended. We mess around with items until something stupid happens. In short, it's a lot more intense than regular gaming. Plus, its introduced me to a ton of games I never would have been interested in other wise.
How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?
It's given me another group of friends I can hang out with and talk about something we all enjoy. We can get together and play and learn about cool games and generally mess around. I also just ran in a marathon for the first time because of my local speedrunning group, and it's definitely one of the coolest things I've ever done.

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  KomradeKomrade

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How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?

this

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What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?

have fun
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Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?

play, and I don't
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How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?

It's helped me deal with my ADD. To sit down for 12+ hours and just learn anything is unheard of for me. Met some great people but over all I'd say the experience has been negative. Games have stopped being about just having fun, and grinding until every little mistake is ironed out. It bleeds into everything else you do. Since Sekiro came out I'm just crawling through it and loving it. Cool hobby if you stick to it casually though.

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  TalicZealotTalicZealot

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?
The concept of speedrunning always sounded cool to me and one day I found Romscout's SOTN speedrun and SDA, so I decided to try it out after finding some of his guides on youtube.

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?
I think this is highly personal. For me it is the never-ending goal to improve.

Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?
Depending on availability, mood, motivation I do lots of stuff at different proportions. I have on and off seasons where I will stream and run heavily, or where I take big breaks. I like watching experienced runners and friends. I follow the game on Twitch and try to find new runners, watching them and giving tips. I like practicing offline and developing setups and optimizing movement for rooms.

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?
It has had a dramatic effect on my life, mostly because of all the people I've met and the friendships I've established. The majority of my friends now I got to meet through this hobby, while only doing it for around four and a half years.

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  SeydieSeydie

Here I go

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?
I went to watch some streams on Twitch and saw CosmoWright on the frontpage of Twitch. Thought I would check him out because he was playing OOT. It got me interested in speedrunning because I was amazed by the tricks he did.

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?
Most important thing imo is having fun and meeting different speedrunners who loves the same game as you do. Discovering new routes, glitches etc. Ultimate goal? Being fast.

Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?
I play and watch speedruns, because I love to see glitches, credit warps and seeing perfect tricks. I always cheer behind my desktop when someone is on pace lmao.

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?
I have a new hobby and met great people at BSG and other events through speedrunning 🙂

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  starsmileystarsmiley

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?
I was getting into the Paper Mario series casually and stumbled upon Almolicious’s 2014 SGDQ TTYD run. I watched it and loved it. I wanted to run it, but I had no capture card and the game’s a difficult speedrun. Undertale came out recently and I fell in love with it. The game was a simple run at the time and was easy to record, so I started running Undertale.

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? What’s the ultimate goal?
The most important thing is having fun. While I think you will have the most amount of fun by interacting with the community and making friends, if it’s not fun for you, don’t do it. The ultimate goal is to be the best you want to be in this hobby and improve yourself, whether that be your stream, your social skills, finding glitches and routing, or just improving your time.

Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?
Both, but I watch more than I play. I love watching others achieve their goals and improving their times and being a part of the community. I like running because I like improving myself as well.

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?
Majorly. I made so many friends that I hope lasts for many more years to come. I built my self-esteem through speedrunning and streaming and had my friends I made through speedrunning to help me through my struggles, and I to help them. I also tend to strategize on how to save time IRL by driving or walking as a result OpieOP

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  KrayzarKrayzar

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?

That's a long and complicated question, but the gist of it is I always was "speedrunning" ever since an extended hospitalization when I was 8 years old. I'll try to be brief.

I was recovering from Kawasaki's disease, and there wasn't much to do at the hospital, but some kind soul had donated an insane amount of NES consoles and a ton of the exact same games. Since there wasn't much variety, I and the other kids in the ward started to make a game of trying to beat things as fast as possible. We weren't very good (the best time I ever got in Super Mario Brothers was over 20 minutes), but it was fun, so it became something I tried to do with any game I really liked.

In 2004 I became aware of Speed Demos Archive and watched everything there religiously. At the time I never thought I was good enough to submit anything. There's a lot of reasons for that. I have a heart condition that required surgery as a child. Among other things, the surgery, while absolutely necessary, damaged my coordination and motor skills in my early life, and (intentionally) left me with half a working heart. I grew up with some mild physical limitations, and ended up fearing anything remotely physically competitive. Despite being pretty good at certain games, I never felt like it was enough, so I just watched.

In 2011 I'd by chance caught one of the first GDQs while I was out of work recovering from a revision to my original heart surgery. Watched the whole event in awe. Wow, folks are actually doing this for charity now I thought. Heck I knew doctors affiliated with MSF do my exact heart surgery in developing countries. I cried when it was over. Caught every single one since then. Still thought I could probably never submit stuff myself.

Then, seven months ago, after years of sitting on the sidelines, I finally decided to try. I have an autoimmune condition now, probably at least somewhat related to my rather complex medical history, and it dawned on me one day that I literally have nothing to lose. If I'm terrible, it's the pain and twitching from the condition. If I'm not, it's in spite of it. That's what pushed me over the edge at least.

The other more important side to it is the community. Early on, seeing folks like @halfcoordinated, @brossentia, and dozens of others from all walks of life, all across the world out there breaking games together convinced me I wanted to be a part of this. It's competitive, but also insanely collaborative, wildly inclusive, and endlessly creative. And then there's the obscure and zany community memes! ...whispers ORB...

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?

FUN.
Community.
Personally for me, finding hilarious ways to break things. I've never had another hobby where discovering something made me laugh so hard I hurt myself.
Using your bizarre Liam Neeson style skill set to raise money for charity.
I guess getting/keeping records is a close 4th or 5th, behind everything else good about this.

Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?

I play and watch. I don't know why I like it really. I like optimizing things, breaking things, and finding creative and often rather dumb solutions to problems. I guess speedrunning encompasses all of these things. The community is a big factor for me as well, as I noted above. There's so many odd and quirky folks playing and running equally odd and quirky things in utterly bizarre ways. And that's a good thing. People seem to genuinely respect each other a lot more here than in other niches of competitive gaming as well.

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?

I find it's helped me get back into playing video games in general. Mostly because of my autoimmune silliness, I haven't really wanted to try playing anything long, taxing, or requiring twitchy reflexes, which for me was basically everything. I was more than a little depressed by the fact that something I used to love tended to cause me physical pain. I won't lie, it still hurts a decent portion of the time, but I find it's a good distraction to have goals and folks to help out and talk strats with. I've met some pretty cool people as well.

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  st4rwavest4rwave

How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?
Definitely this run:

I had no interest in speedrunning Meat Boy, but I remember this being one of the first runs I'd ever seen. I've been a runner, viewer, and community member ever since.

What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?
For me, it's always been the community. I really like chatting with people who like going fast just like I do. I'm kind of notorious in my communities for learning runs and never improving my times, but that just happens to be my thing. I really love learning runs. I'd say the ultimate goal is to go as fast as possible, but that's something I've never done haha

Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?
Both! It's been a great time watching GDQs since I gained interest in speedrunning, and the community has always been huge for me. It's so much fun to learn new tricks. I'm looking to break Katana Zero, since I've wanted to route for a very long time but I never got too much of a chance. I love meeting new people in new communities, that being the main reason it's been so enjoyable.

How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?
It's made me a much more social person online, and I'm extremely grateful to have met the people I've been in contact with so far. It's also broke out outside of my life, being a hobby I can talk about. It's weird to see more people have heard of it because of large events, so that's great to see as well. Overall it's been so positive and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

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  ShikenNuggetsShikenNuggets

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How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?

This would have been my first exposure to speedrunning:

Arkham City is my favourite game, and it was pretty cool to see someone demolish it live. From then I was aware of the scene but didn't follow anything or do runs myself. Eventually I got a decent PC and owned all the Arkham games on Steam, and for fun I decided to do a deathless race against my brother (him playing a completely different game, but with a comparable estimate). I won the race, and the time I ended up with wasn't too bad, so I started doing proper runs.

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What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?

For me, it's all about self-improvement. If I'm making steady forward progress (whether that's in total run lengths, best segment times, general quality of play, etc), I'm doing something right. Everything else, like getting world records and being the best, is secondary.

Another noteworthy thing for me is that I want to improve the leaderboard as a whole. Unfortunately Arkham City has more subcategories than it has competition (and due to the way the game works there's not a lot we can do about that). As a result, many of the top times on the leaderboards are laughably long by today's standards (either because they're very outdated, or somebody just went for a free world record in an otherwise empty category and nobody's bothered to contest it), so I'd like to update some of those times since I have a pretty good idea of how low they can go.

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Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?

Lots of playing, lots of watching. I'm not sure what exactly about it clicks with me. I've never been a huge fan of competitive multiplayer games, but this form of competition that's more focused on yourself rather than directly competing with others just feels a lot better to me.

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How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?

Can't honestly say it has. I definitely spend a lot more time in speedrunning related discussions, and watching/doing speedruns, when before I'd... spend lots of time in non-speedrunning related discussions and watching/playing games casually. So really I'm just doing the same things for different (probably better) reasons.

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  DaravaeDaravae

Cool thread!

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How did you get started here? What/who lured you in?

I started with Banjo Tooie after watching Stivitybobo run Banjo Kazooie on GDQ a couple of years ago. I started taking speedrunning more competitively when I found Nemz38 on Twitch streaming Dark Souls III speedruns and switched over to that game for most of my time.

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What's the most important thing in speedrunning? Whats the ultimate goal?

To have fun and keep having fun while creating friendly competition and grow speedrunning with the community as a whole.

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Do you play or just watch? Why do you like it so much?

I definitely used to grind more than I do now, unfortunately. Just due to lack of time and I like spending time managing leaderboards and communities rather than actually speedrunning myself.. I should really finish learning Sekiro Any%.. lol..
I love speedrunning because it grants games much more replayability and an additional goal rather than finishing it. I love how creative it can go by using glitches and skips as a way to improve finishing a game faster.

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How has speedrunning and/or this community impacted your life?

I made a lot of friends and changed my perspective a lot on gaming in general. I also love that speedrunning can be used as a way to raise money for charity and being able to contribute to that effort in some way.

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