Spoon Deep in Speed Runs

Speed running has always fascinated me.  As a retired track and field athlete, I have a long history with trying to obtain the fastest times and then trying to run faster.  If you are unfamiliar with speed running, I suggest you google your favorite game along with the term “speedrun” and watch your whole world unfurl.  Along with that, GamesDoneQuick puts up a great marathon twice a year and features some of the best speed runners around.  They also raise money for both the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders.  So what does speed running have to do with Spoon Deep?

Speed running combines my two favorite activities, gaming and time trials (if we want to reduce track and field to time trials).  Sorry to anyone in the field events, speed running might be more difficult to relate to.  Imagine the exhilaration of getting a new personal best, looking up the world record and realizing that you can go even faster.  Then you practice and get better, and repeat.  I really believe speed running can be as casual or as hardcore as you want to make it.  Do you want to just play Super Metroid for 2 hours?  Go for it, but next time beat it in 1 hour 59 minutes.  Congrats! You are a speed runner.  Just remember that someone out there has beaten the game in 43 min 04 seconds: Zoasty.

But how does one start speed running and which game do you choose? Technically you could speed run any game even though some world records are more competitive than others. Just like track and field, imagine the grueling decathlon of speed running that one could think up.  The most important thing to think about when speed running is picking a game that you will enjoy playing over and over again, and then playing some more.  If you’d like a technically challenging event that also likes to go fast, then the hurdles are for you.  If you are more of a dungeon crawler maybe try The Legend of Zelda.

The Spoon Deep Gaming family is known for coming up with grandiose plans and here is another one.  We are getting into speed running.  We are jumping into the starting blocks and hoping that we don’t fall flat on our face.  I (Jake aka prettyboyplaid) will take the first few steps into the unknown.  The other spoons will be deep in the speed running scene soon enough, even if they are kicking and screaming.  But there is no defined way to start speed running, you just kind of do it.

I like to think of myself as a man of high idealism.  For example, as a hurdler in track and field, I would never imagine going under a hurdle in order to get to the finish line faster (even though it would probably slow you down).  With video games, I am also hesitant to speed run a game with a lot of glitches that take away from actually playing the game and instead place the focus more on playing the glitches.  After all I still want to have fun and show off my skill at the game.

At the same time, I was a sprinter on the track team and never cared much for the distance races.  Although I have run a 5k or two, I am looking at games that are quicker to beat, probably between the 1 and 2 hour range.  Anything over that and I will have to take way too many bathroom breaks (the spoons know what that sounds like).

Like any grand idea that we come up with, this one is not fully realized.  I am tossing and turning between which game I want dedicate myself to, knowing full well that I will probably try my hand at speed running numerous games.  The front runners currently include Super Metroid because that morph ball is just so sexy; Resident Evil because I just get so many goosebumps playing; Mega Man X because the Storm Eagle music can’t be beat; and StarTropics because the nostalgia is just so high on this one.

So there you have it!  Speed running combines track and field and gaming.  I want to speed run.  Videos will be up on the blog, and I’m sure we will ramble on about it on the podcast.

Dig in,

Jake

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