2020
05.17

From BBC The Social

Since the early days of the medium, speed is something that’s been rewarded in video gaming. Two of its most well-known icons have it woven into their gameplay; the original Super Mario Bros series added your remaining time to your score upon reaching the end of a level, encouraging faster playthroughs, while Sonic the Hedgehog was even born from co-creator Yuji Naka’s attempts to race through Mario’s first level as quickly as possible.

Much like real-life track and field, a certain section of gaming has come to be based around agility; alongside the rise of e-sports – a huge industry centred around public, competitive gameplay – a phenomenon known as speedrunning has emerged, in which players post their quickest times for getting to the end credits of a game. It’s something that’s resonated with gaming fans around the globe, giving rise to wildly popular YouTube channels, charity events and groups who promote the practice.

“There’s the element of the world record – it’s easy to understand why people would want to see something done at a speed that has never been done before.” says Matt Harris of the UK Speedrunning Marathon, one such organisation. “Why do people get excited about someone running 100 metres really quickly? It’s the same with speedrunning – only now in the form of completing a video game really quickly.”

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