Speed runs and cancer

This is actually a first post that I haven't planned in advance. I have a queue of topics I really wanted to cover and this list is rather getting longer than shorter, but this one issue I wanted to write about right away. 

I just came across an SDA Charity Marathon, which I find one of the best gaming - related events ever. The idea is simple: for a whole week gamers gather and do speed runs of their favourite games, commenting on what they are doing while playing. Sharing all the tips and tricks. These guys really know what they are doing. Dark Souls run under 90 minutes, Contra run under 12 minutes or Starcraft 2 campaign in under 3 hours 30 minutes on brutal difficulty - these are just a few out of (literally) hundreds impressive game completion times. They are doing these runs 24/7 and accepting donations for Prevent Cancer Foundation. So far (there's still two days to go when I am writing this) they raised... Lemme check... $241 250. From what I've learned, they are doing it for the third time already.

The whole event is streamed online HERE
I admit I didn't do much research, but people behind it seem to be gamers associated with speeddemosarchive.com joined by speedrunslive.com community. All great gamers. Both links are getting a sticky link on my blog.

Now there are two things I really like about this event. One is the message it sends to the world. Message about gamers wanting to help people in need. Message of games going beyond simple entertainment, beyond e-sports. Games becomming socially attractive tools for doing a simply good deed. The numbers are speaking for themselves. There are thousands of people watching these streams. Thousands of people donating. All of them interested in what is going on on the screen, but also in helping the cause. You can hate me for it, but I will say it anyway. The fact of gaming community uniting and reaching out to people is what moved me much more than the whole cancer thing. I mean - sure, preventing cancer is cool and stuff. I even sent them all the cash I made selling Diablo III items. Still, I didn't do it because I was moved or touched by the cancer tragedies. I did it because I really admire the effort of these guys and I really think that events like this can change the image of a gamer in the public opinion. Show that games aren't the Satan's tool for igniting the torch of juvenile violence. Prove, how easily games can be used for higher causes.

The second thing is speed runs. To all gamedev wannabe's out there: watch at least a few. Personally, I don't speedrun - I prefer to lay back, enjoy the views, read the plot, identify myself with the character, explore the area, get a trophy or two and check out a cool easter egg. Speed runs though are the ultimate challenge for a gamer. They require top skill and knowledge of the game. They mercilessly exploit all the mechanics in the game. All level design flaws. All bugs, all glitches, everything. These guys - speedrunners - are the true testers of every game's design. They use all the tools given to them in ways that the developers would never think of. They expose the bugs testers didn't see comming. They find holes in solid walls, analyze every single enemy's AI to the point nobody would even dream of. But most of all, they show how deep the gameplay can truely be.

Summing up:
- speed runs are cool
- cancer isn't
- gaming events are cool
- obesity isn't (and can lead to cancer)
- don't do drugs, drugs are bad, mmkay?

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  1. It's over. Bunch of nerds gathered over $420k. I mean, that's quite a bunch actually! ;)

  2. Nice initiative. In the past two years there have been many events on the subject of "gamers for charity" (with Humble Bundle being probably the most active). Good to see there's a bunch of geeks keen on helping the less fortunate.


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