A Love Letter To #AGDQ2015 And The Speedrunner Community

With AGDQ2015 ending soon, I am surprised to find myself experiencing a rush of unexpected emotions.  I feel sadness, excitement, hope, intrigue, and perhaps some confusion.  There’s only a few hours left in the event.  I can’t wait to claim my free time back (and get back to streaming myself) but I also feel like a bit of a fanboy here..  I don’t want it to ever end.

AGDQ, Awesome (or Awful) Games Done Quick, is a yearly event where speedrunners play games in marathon sessions to aide wonderful causes like the Prevent Cancer Foundation.  It’s a joint effort between Speed Runs Live, Speed Demos Archive, GamesDoneQuick.com (and the respective Twitch.TV channel), their sponsors, and the fantastic gamer geek community thereof…  But saying just that does not really explain what makes it so awesome!

I feel like AGDQ is the Christmas of the gaming community.  It’s the warm fuzzies and feeling of being at home with family that often lacks otherwise.  Sadly, just like Christmas, it’s over just as fast as the hype builds up.  DOH!

 

Stigmas Surrounding The Speedrunner (& Pro Gaming) Community

I used to think that the speedrunner community was just a bunch of young elitist hardcore gamers looking down upon the filthy casuals.  I worried that it was more of the exclusive behavior that scares people away from what should be a more wide-spread, accepting community as a whole.  I can just picture the stereotypical anti-social, pimple-faced kid in his mom’s basement, telling everyone to be quiet as he attempts to shave .5 seconds off his best ANY% time.

Speedrunning is so hardcore that there are even games coming out dedicated to the speedrunners.  It can be off-putting for those that want a challenge but don’t have the skill or time to invest.  It’s even more discouraging when pro gamers are beating games literally blindfolded (yes, that is a thing).

Does this mean that we are not skilled if we can’t accomplish these kinds of feats?  Are we merely filthy casuals to the speedrunners?

Zelda: Ocarina Of Time blindfolded run SUCCESS with Runnerguy2489 - his reward?  SILLY STRING!

Zelda: Ocarina Of Time blindfolded run SUCCESS with Runnerguy2489 – his reward? SILLY STRING!

Of course, there are the silly fools who refuse to share tips and tricks.  This is not exclusive to gaming but it happens often throughout our beloved community.  Everyone tends to feel that they know something super-secret that no one will ever figure out.  They wrongfully think this exclusive knowledge is their secret weapon.  What’s encouraging is that I’m starting to see, more and more, that AGDQ and other communities are really trying to share the fun and expand the space.  Most speedrunners today WANT others to succeed!

I’ve also learned that, while all that bad stuff mentioned above is sometimes true, AGDQ and other efforts are trying to share their passion for gaming with other and there’s really something here…

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