What makes a bad speedrunning game, and which are the worst?

Related: Top 5 Best Speedrunning Videogames

There are lots of bad speedrunning games. There are lots of bad games, bad movies, bad music. But most of them never really had a chance of being good. Low budgets, half-baked concepts, lack of talent or inspiration — there’s a reason we appreciate good art so much: it’s rare.

This, of course, is fine. Success is built on failure. Bad Games can be appreciated as stepping stones towards Good Games. Or, they can at least give us a laugh.

The worst games…

What makes a good speedrunning game, and which are the best?

Related: Why do we watch other people play videogames?

Speedrunning is perhaps the best ambassador for gameplay-as-entertainment, combining the inherent appeal of videogame content with broadly-appreciated notions of competition and achievement. Speedrunning is easier for the uninitiated to understand than, say, Let’s Play content, which has its own obvious merits but practically requires either the viewer to appreciate the relaxing nature of taking a journey together (see NintendoCapriSun) or an engaging personality to hold attention (see GameGrumps or Korone).

Speedrunning is accessible to all: Those with the skill to…

Evaluating a curious modern pastime.

As someone born in the mid-1980’s, video games are a fact of life. My parents bought video games for me and my sister, and even played them with us, too. Video game franchises had cartoons, comics, and sugary cereals. Kids and adults alike were plenty familiar with words like “Mario,” “Zelda,” and “Nintendo.”

Playing video games isn’t weird.

What is weird, though, to my generational peers, is the modern pastime of watching someone else play a video game. Sure, we’ve all had to passively watch someone else — a sibling, a friend, the rich kid…

Tristan Smith

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