The role of glitches in speedrunning: How do players exploit game bugs to achieve faster times?
Have you ever watched a speedrun and wondered how players are able to complete a game so quickly? Well, one of the secrets to success is the use of glitches. Yes, you read that right, glitches. Those annoying bugs in the game that cause it to crash or freeze can actually be utilized to achieve faster completion times.
In this article, we'll be exploring the fascinating world of speedrunning glitches. We'll look at various types of glitches and how they are used by players to their advantage. We'll also examine the ethics of glitch exploitation in speedrunning and the impact it has on the gaming community.
What are glitches?
Before we dive into the world of glitch exploitation in speedrunning, let's first define what a glitch is. A glitch is a programming error or anomaly that causes unintended behavior in software or hardware. In other words, it's a flaw in the game's code that was not intended by the game's developers.
Glitches can manifest in various forms such as graphical errors, sound problems, or gameplay issues. For example, a glitch in a game's collision detection system may allow players to pass through walls, floors or ceilings. Another example is a "sequence break" glitch, which allows players to skip certain portions of a game that would typically be required to progress.
How are glitches used in speedrunning?
Now that we have a basic understanding of what glitches are, let's explore how they are utilized in the world of speedrunning.
Speedrunning is a competitive gaming activity that involves completing a game in the shortest amount of time possible. Players use various strategies and techniques to achieve their goal, one of which is the use of glitches.
There are different types of glitch exploitation in speedrunning, including major game breaking glitches and minor optimizations. Major game-breaking glitches can completely alter the game's intended rules and mechanics, while minor optimizations can save seconds or even milliseconds off a player's time. It's important to note that not all glitches are created equal, and some are more valuable to speedrunners than others.
Examples of glitch exploitation in speedrunning
To help illustrate the different types of glitch exploitation in speedrunning, let's take a look at a few examples.
1. Sequence breaks
As mentioned earlier, sequence breaks allow players to skip certain portions of a game that would typically be required to progress. These types of glitches are often the most valuable to speedrunners, as they can significantly reduce a player's completion time.
An excellent example of a sequence break glitch can be found in Super Mario 64. By exploiting a glitch known as the "Backwards Long Jump," players can skip large portions of the game and reach the end credits in just a matter of minutes.
Clipping is another common type of glitch exploitation in speedrunning. It involves using a glitch to pass through solid objects that would typically block a player's progress. This can be extremely useful in games where there are narrow passageways or tight spaces that players need to navigate.
A great example of clipping can be found in the game Half-Life. By using the "crouch jump" glitch, players can clip through walls and other solid objects, allowing them to bypass entire sections of the game.
3. Time-saving glitches
Finally, we have time-saving glitches. These are minor optimizations that can save players a few seconds or even milliseconds off their completion time. While not as valuable as major sequence breaks, time-saving glitches can make all the difference in a speedrun that's down to the wire.
An excellent example of a time-saving glitch can be found in the game Super Metroid. By using a glitch known as the "crazy wall jump," players can climb walls faster and more efficiently, saving valuable time in the process.
Ethics of glitch exploitation in speedrunning
While glitch exploitation may seem like cheating to some, it's important to note that the use of glitches is a widely accepted practice in the speedrunning community. In fact, many speedrunners view glitch exploitation as a way to appreciate a game's code and mechanics on a deeper level.
However, there are certainly ethical concerns to consider. For example, some players may argue that certain glitches are too powerful and should be banned from use in speedruns. Others may have a problem with the fact that glitch exploitation can give an unfair advantage to players with more experience or knowledge of the game's mechanics.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual player and the speedrunning community as a whole to determine what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to glitch exploitation.
In conclusion, glitches play a significant role in the world of speedrunning. They allow players to complete games in record time and explore games in new and exciting ways.
As we've seen, there are different types of glitches that speedrunners can exploit, including major sequence breaks, clipping, and minor time-saving optimizations. While there are certainly ethical concerns to consider, the use of glitches remains a widely accepted practice in the speedrunning community.
So next time you watch a speedrun and see a player clipping through a wall or skipping an entire level, remember that they're not cheating, they're just taking advantage of the game's flaws. And who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to try glitch exploitation in your next playthrough.
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