The allure of speedrunning Goldeneye
July 01, 2018

Goldeneye will be turning 21 years-old in August. A trip to the bars will be in order! But first, has anyone here compared how it holds up to the shiny, modern FPSes that grace our modern console and PC platforms? Did anyone here play it back in the day? Be that "back in the day" be back in the day 21 years ago or at any point since its release until now? I speculate some of you have.

Where am I going with this? Though it's not something I've attempted, and it's not even something I'm sure I would want to attempt, I am absolutely fascinated with a growing niche turned socially accepted norm of speed-running video games. Goldeneye on the N64 has one of the longest lasting and passionate communities of speedrunners that this blogger knows about. is a repository rich in data and lore with enough content to where I'm still not really sure I know how to appreciate all knowledge that it contains. Some may ponder what's the point of grinding hours on a level to tie or exceed a currently standing world record, but I find it to be captivating because there is a whole group of folks out there that find it worth their time to do just that.

Perhaps it's because when I think of myself and how I approach video games, I can appreciate members (or any speedrunner for that matter) taking a methodical approaches to completing a game or level at the fastest time possible, making slight alterations along the way as strategies are refined or redefined. While I have never seriously attempted to speedrun, I've spent most of my recent video game time playing the same few titles with the overall objective of mastering them and seeing everything there is to see. Speedrunning, on the surface, is no different.

Anyway, all of this new-found appreciation has made me decide to whip out my N64 and at least give Goldeneye a new try in 2018. I already know I won't get the full experience a la not having the connections to engage in multiplayer, but I'm pretty pumped to play as Bond on single player regardless and go through the game's 20 levels with the intention of unlocking some cheats along the way and then just fiddling around with the game until I either decide nostalgia's had its fill or speedrunning is something I can really see myself doing.

Regardless of that outcome, I'll continue to watch someone else play Bond really fast so I only have to experience the highs of fast times and avoid the lows of hours spent grinding. Even if I'm not willing to put in the effort or toil, I can still appreciate the outcome.

I'll close this out by asking what fascinates you most about video games? Is it something specific or more over-reaching, something personally experienced or vicariously gleaned? Seeing the dedication and precision speedrunning entails, especially when its for a game I thought I knew well, is my flavor of the month. What's yours?

honestgamer honestgamer - July 01, 2018 (01:22 PM)
I play games for the escapism they typically provide. I like to get lost in a game's world and just enjoy living there. They can make an engaging distraction from all the thoughts otherwise swirling in my head. That doesn't typically translate to losing myself to the story, since video game plots are almost always awful. Instead, I appreciate things like looking out over amazing views, or coming across a group of ingeniously placed adversaries, or discovering some hidden secret. I'll play and enjoy games of a wide variety of styles, but escapism and distraction are nearly always the core goal. To me, speedrunning doesn't seem quite compatible with that. I find it interesting on one level, but not extraordinarily so.

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