Hacking the Game

I've started working on a bigger project that's looking at the different types of games we play: what draws us in? What do games provide that other forms of entertainment do not?

 

I've spent some more time looking into video game Speed Runs: timed attempts at completing the game that often include shortcuts or glitches that seem impossible. What's most fascinating about it to me is how thoroughly you must understand the components of a game in order to succeed. The best example I've come across can be found here...it's super technical and mostly gibberish if you don't know programming, but I promise you it's worth it:

 

 

Just imagine how much work went into this! Over twenty years after the original game was released and people are rewriting the code using red shells and pixel locations of exploding rocks! We have to ask what the people who commit their LIVES to being the fastest at Mario are getting out of it, we have to ask what we gain by watching.

One Million Maniacs, 2017