Saturday Morning Rant: Blindfolded Speedruns

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I watched a ton of this year’s SGDQ (Summer Games Done Quick), a week-long marathon of speedruns for charity. It’s the first time I ever watched a lot of speedruns and I gotta say, I was absolutely impressed with what I saw. The 20-minute Super Mario World run where the player was small Mario the entire way through, the Sketch glitch run of Final Fantasy VI, the 4-way 70 Star race in Super Mario 64 and the insane Super Jump-ridden run of Super Mario RPG.

However, there was one speedrun at SGDQ that really made no sense to me. And that was the blindfolded speedrun of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Now I’m not going to go into some highly-fueled rant about how these runs are the bane of our existence or anything of the sort, but I’m going to spend this post talking about how honestly, I just don’t get it. I don’t get why these runs are A, cool and B, interesting to watch. I watched at most the first ten minutes of the run. And I gotta level with ya, I was bored watching it, I thought it looked really weird with a blindfolded guy on one side and a character moving improperly in the game on the other. Most of all, I just felt that what I was watching on the screen just didn’t look right to me.

Now on the flip side, when I saw that video of a blind person actually beating Ocarina of Time, that’s amazing. But to me, the idea of “upping the ante” by putting a blindfold on and having to listen to audio cues and/or memorizing level designs, enemy locations and all that jazz, it just comes off as pointless to me. I don’t think a gamer is proving themselves any further by saying “Look at me! I’m so good at this game, I’m gonna beat it not only really fast, but without seeing any of it!”.

To me, that’s probably the worst sin you can make to a game when you claim your love for it. This may sound stupid to some, but I think if you decide to play a game without seeing it, you’re actually insulting the game and the people who made it. You have eyes, the developers put work in the visual aspect of the game, why are you not using them? I would never dream of playing Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario World, or any other game I will forever love and not look at the beauty of those games. It doesn’t make sense to me. I want to fully enjoy the game, taking away one of my senses now makes the game I love a chore and if that’s the case, I want nothing to do with that.

Regardless, congratulations to Romscout for accomplishing what for 99.9999999% of gamers is impossible. But for me, it just wasn’t interesting to me and I don’t know why so many people think it is. Sorry.

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