Last week, talented gamers from the Speed Demos Archive participated in their annual games for charity run: Awesome Games Done Quick. Watching the stream has been so fascinating that I’ve forgotten to do many other things I theoretically should have done. But that seems to have been the case for many, as, very late Saturday night, the AGDQ stream made an incredible goal of one million dollars collected for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Austin Powers jokes ensued.
I do love it when entertaining people play video games as a spectator sport, and this entire week of runs was spectator gaming at its best. Though the marathon is officially over now, the highlights from last week’s runs are worth checking out.
Some of my favorites from the live stream: Punch-Out and Super Punch-Out being played blindfolded, Super Mario 64 played with only 15 stars and one-handed, and a world record for completing Minecraft (a game that I confess I didn’t realize could be speedrun at all).
But what was possibly the highlight of the show for me was this: a four-way race through Super Metroid. Racers run through the game pulling off tons of interesting tricks, gracefully completing the game at around 45 minutes, with the two winners less than a second apart…
If you’ve got a little more time on your hands, the team also did a 100% run of Chrono Trigger that had some funny and harrowing moments, especially as they reached the one million dollar donation mark. Kotaku has a convenient list of all the runs clickably handy.
You can also watch Speed Demos Archive on Twitch any time they’re streaming, and you have a pretty good chance of seeing something amazing. They are still live right now as I post, doing a bonus stream for those who were interested in sticking around. Later this year a Summer Games Done Quick Marathon will also be held for charity. This is my first time watching their charity streams, but I think I’ll make it a tradition. I can’t wait to see what they play next.
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Thanks for this Amanda, this is awesome. Just watching the F-Zero GX stream. Oh god. As somebody who finished the story mode on very hard, that’s some incredible skill on show there.
You’d never have convinced me that watching other people play games was fun until I actually tried it. Maybe normal pedestrian gaming is a little dull to watch, but add in the displays of skill and hilarity in events like this and it becomes must-see. Thanks AJ!
It’s performance art, it really is. Although Amanda, you might need to explain the TAS Super Mario World stream… that one lost me.
Ha ha. That TAS is amazing.
I can try! He does explain a little bit as to how it works when he discusses it after the TAS runs. Here’s a similar run using Pokemon Yellow – http://tasvideos.org/3767S.html
The short explanation is that you can actually trick a game into executing arbitrary code by spawning a certain number of tiles in a certain order. This is only possible tool-assisted because of very highly technical reasons but that document breaks it down.
Yeah I kind of got what he was talking about during the demo but my brain just couldn’t handle the fact that they’d made different games in a game using the game itself when the mechanics aren’t naturally conducive to that sort of thing (unlike Minecraft or LittleBigPlanet for instance). That’s like, Inception or Yo Dawg territory right there.