[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Hello world,
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]I would like to hear your opinion on the fact that Valve is always trying to control the speedrunning phenomenon. Throughout the years, games and engines, our community has been suffering from constant bug and glitch fixes which only led to speedrunners being even more motivated to exploit any error they could find. Fixing in-game errors is totally understandable since we - the players - actually pay our money for the game; it would mean that we demand that the game is developed according to certain standards, i.e. no such game errors that may thwart positive game experience.
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]But think again: does speedrunning/jumpbug/ fall into this category? Most of the bugs described on SourceRuns wiki are difficult to use, non-producible on any map, require scripting and thorough understanding of game mechanics - which means that only an experienced player, a player who has dedicated quite a lot of his time to a certain Valve game, would be able to use them to their full potential. This type of a player is the best client a company can ever dream of: he is loyal to the game and willing to invest even more time so as to promote it (“Half-Life in 20:41” currently has 1,857,083 views). The speedrunning community produces works of speedart, the commentary sections on YouTube/gaming magazines (representing a generalised player) start a shitstorm which clearly states this fact:
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]***Speedrunning is a privilege. ***
Most of the bugs that have been fixed were not “critical” because nobody used them to crash the game. Almost nobody even knew these existed in the first place! These bugs were not bugs, but rather, say, some interesting game features which provided an opportunity to look at your favourite game from a totally different perspective. These bugs, being simply programming errors, managed to bind a whole lot of players from all over the world in their determination to be in control: to study the game engine, the mechanics, the maps and finally - to show that it is you who defines the limit. These bugs gave us an amazing feeling of freedom, as one day, hours and days of hard work finally paid off - you were not feeling like a puppet, guided by the invisible hand of game developers, oh no; you were a swift piranha, hungrily biting the hand that feeds you, ignoring the narrative waypoints and choosing your own path of completing the game. I have yet to speedrun myself but I am pretty sure: mere milliseconds of a successful trick were enough for a speedrunner to think and feel “I have just created something.”
I will repeat myself: speedrunning is a privilege. Most of the players will never even know of these bugs and even if they did, they would think it is not their cup of tea. It is equally hard and great, but it is the burden we chose by ourselves. It has been almost 17 years since Half-Life`s release and we are still playing it. So yeah Valve, good luck fixing that.