Speedrunning: Games Done Quick


Bruce Gulland and Liz Waid look at a different way to play video games – as fast as possible. Why would someone play like this?

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Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Bruce Gulland.

Voice 2  

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

The young man sits in front of a computer. He plays a computer game. His fingers move quickly on the game controller. The characters in the game jump and run very quickly. The young man has played this game hundreds of times. He has great skill and he knows every move very well. His friends enjoy watching his excellent game play.

Voice 2  

He finishes the game and looks at the time. He smiles and his friends cheer. He has completed the game extremely quickly. He has never completed it in such a short time. But he is not the only person playing games this way. Today’s Spotlight is on speedrunning or computer games played very quickly.

Voice 1  

People who play computer games in this way are called speedrunners. Speedrunners have fun! They play computer games as fast as possible. They may try to complete the whole game quickly. Or they may just try to complete a particular part or level of the game. Speedrunners usually record games as they play. In this way they can share their game play with other people online.

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Gamers first started to speedrun or play games fast in the early 1990s. They began with the game ‘Doom’. This game had two special qualities. It included a clock that showed the time taken to complete a level. And it let gamers record and share their efforts.

Voice 1  

Since then speedrunners have become very large online communities. They use online meeting places or platforms such as Twitch to share their speedruns. They play thousands of different games. Very popular games include Super Mario 64, Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Celeste.

Voice 2  

Most people take hours to complete a particular game. But speedrunners can complete the same game in minutes. That is because Speedrunners know their games well. They know where dangers lie. They know the fastest paths through the game. They have played the games so often that their fingers remember how to move on the controller.

Voice 1  

Julie Muncy writes for the website wired.com. She explains that the best speedrunners study the games they play a lot. She described what a speedrunner called Kungkobra did. Fallout: New Vegas is a 100 hour game. But Kungkobra beat it in just 20 minutes. Muncy writes:

Voice 3  

‘The best speedruns require a lot of planning. Kungkobra possesses a huge knowledge of the game world. This lets him race from one area to the next in the shortest time possible. He also changes the skills of his characters to make particular events happen. These will move the plot of the game towards its end.  He even chooses Italian as the language of the game, as it is a little faster than other languages.’

Voice 2  

There are different ways to play a speedrun. Many speedrunners will play an Any% speedrun. They only have to complete the game as fast as possible. They can even miss parts of the game. Other speedrunners will play a 100% speedrun. They also have to complete the game as fast as possible. But they have to do everything in the game that there is to do. They need to collect every jewel, weapon or other thing that can be collected in the game.

Voice 1  

Speedrunners see video games as puzzles. They are problems to be solved by intelligence or patient effort. Speedrunners do everything they can to cut even a second or two from the game time. They love to find a trick to help them do this. For example, in some games a speedrunner can save time by letting his character die in the game. Speedrunners often do tricks that involve exact movements combined together. Some tricks are extremely difficult. For example sometimes a speedrunner needs to be on one exact pixel or point of the game.

Voice 2  

Speedrunners also like to find a glitch. This makes the game act in a way that it is not designed to do. For example in the game Super Mario 64 an underwater door should not open. But if Mario is travelling very quickly the door does open. The door opens because Mario reached it before the game knew Mario was under water. Another example is in the game Fallout: New Vegas. A speedrunner can increase the walking speed of his character by 160 per cent. The speedrunner has to do something very strange. He has to shoot the feet of his character.

Voice 1  

Speedrunners enjoy playing games quickly. But they also enjoy being part of an online community. Other people in the community enjoy watching the speedrunners play. And the community also loves to hear the speedrunners talk about how they perform tricks. The community can be very friendly and supportive. They share knowledge of new glitches and tricks.

Voice 2  

Speedrunners even hold special events. Hundreds of thousands of people watch them online at the same time. The largest event is ‘Games Done Quick’. Speedrunners take part in ‘Awesome Games Done Quick’ in January and ‘Summer Games Done Quick’ in June or July. They play games for a week for 24 hours a day. Each speedrunner will play a different game that lasts a few minutes or hours. The organisers broadcast the whole event live on Twitch. People from all over the world can enjoy it as well as those attending. They cheer, they laugh and share jokes.

Voice 1  

But Games Done Quick does much more than speedrunning. It raises money for good causes. In January 2019, the event raised 2.4 million dollars for the charity ‘Prevent Cancer Foundation.’ And in June 2019 the event raised over 3 million dollars for the charity ‘Doctors Without Borders’. Individuals from all over the world gave money as they watched the event online. Covert Muffin is a speedrunner. He attended the event and said,

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‘There is no other event like this globally. People come from all around the world to meet with their friends, have a good time and raise money for charity.’

Voice 2  

Do you like playing computer games? Have you ever tried to do a speed run? Tell us about it. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 1  

The writer of this programme was Katy Blake. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for the programme and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this programme again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This programme is called ‘Speedrunning: Games Done Quick.’

Voice 2  

Visit our website to download our free official App for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight programme. Goodbye.

Question:

Do you play video games? Have you ever tried a speed run?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Honneur
said on November 04, 2019

No, I do not like video games. I preffer sports with fisical activities and efforts. When I am at home, I read books or sit in front of my computer to read the news or to study something, like I am doing now.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on November 05, 2019

From .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To spotlight program
Subject to answer to the questions below
Location São Paulo city SP Brazil
Tuesday 05, November 2019

Dear Liz Waid, Bruce Gulland, Katy Blake, and Michio Ozaki

Thank you for writing and producing more one great article for us brazilian people and others around the World.
Question 1 - Do you play video games?
Answer 1 - No, I do not. I do not like them.
Question 2 - Have you ever tried a speed run?
Answer 2 - No, never.
Yours regards,
God bless you
Severino Ramos
Brazil