I’ve picked up a terribly unproductive new hobby recently. I’m big on both gaming and nostalgia, but sometimes I just don’t have the time to play through an entire video game again. I’ve got work to do. What I can (kind of) afford to do is watch someone else do it, on my dual monitors, in extremely fast and competitive fashion. I’m talking about speed runs.
If you’re familiar with the “let’s play” video format that gamers use as a visual way to hold your hand through a game, then understand that a speed run is one of those videos after too much soda and candy. The objective of a speed run is to blaze through a game as quickly as possible in a time trial.
In understanding that, do you really want to invest 20+ hours into a game that you could never beat when you were 9 years old, or would you rather just take a backseat and watch someone else do it for you? Hey, I understand if you’re with the first option, but sometimes it’s just as fun to see someone else endure the grind.
With that being said, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite websites where you can stream or download videos of these speed runs. Should be hours of entertainment for you hardcore (and softcore) gamers.
SDA is the holy grail of speed run websites. At the time of writing this, they have 704 games played and indexed in their game list. I think that’s the biggest you’re going to be able to find. You can stream videos right from their website, and it’s incredibly easy to use. They have a huge variety of games being played, too.
TASVideos specializes in “tool-assisted” gaming videos, usually meaning that the games are being emulated to the PC and modified or edited in some way. I love the feel of this website, it’s very retro and looks awesome. They’ve put a ton of work into it and they’re currently sitting at 163 movies that you can watch on YouTube, download as a torrent, or export into an emulator yourself.
SRL specializes in live, streaming speed runs. I’ve sat through a few of these, notably a Mario 64 speed run, and these are exciting, entertaining, and interactive. These guys run their website very beautifully and professionally, and they turn speed running and entertaining their viewers into a real competition with their leaderboard. They’ve got their own IRC server and even put together a huge list of tools you might want to use if you’re looking at climbing up into the ranks of becoming a speed runner with their team.
These three websites ought to provide you with hours and hours of video entertainment that’ll show you what real, hardcore gaming is like. These guys don’t mess around. Send in a comment if you know of any other sites or if you’ve done any speed runs yourself! I’d be interested in checking it out.
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