We all know somebody who eats food quicker than you can pick up your fork. Yet they will still say they have enjoyed their meal. You on the other hand might insist on eating slowly and worshipping every last bite. Saying that you enjoy your meal better when you eat slower.
The same can be said for video games: speed-running vs savouring. When you play a new game for the first time you’re going to savour every second of it. Discover every secret, talk to every character, do all the side quests just to get that really cool, useless hat. Maybe in your second playthrough you’ll set yourself the challenge of trying to complete it as fast as you can! But then you bump into that very cute talking chicken and can’t help but do her side quest…
For those who don’t know, speed-running is the art of completing either a whole game as fast as you can, which is called a real time speed run or completing a single level. A lot of people don’t see the appeal of running through a game that fast, but others, after completing a game, just don’t want that enjoyment to end but also don’t want to go through the hassle of playing it for 3 hours again.
Most people who speed-run do it after their first playthrough, but others set themselves the even greater challenge of doing it first try. Such as I did with Stardew Valley, a cute little farming game where you can pretty much pick and choose which goals you want to achieve. Because of this choice I find it easier and more enjoyable to speed-run the game first time through. I am still really enjoying the game and allowing myself to stop and pause every so often, but there is something so gratifying about ending your first year on the farm and being 50% through the game. There’s also an immense sense of satisfaction when you complete a game that you adore and took your time with, such as Final Fantasy X which takes on average 40-50 hours to complete. I mean, you stuck around for 40 hours for one game, that’s a feat in itself.
There is no one way to play or complete a game, there is no rule that says you have to take it slow, or any rule that states you have to even complete the game to enjoy it! Play games whatever way you want to play them. If you’ve never attempted a speed-run before, why not give it a go? If you only play the main quests of games and do it all as fast as you can, why not take your time next play?