Login | Register

Re-curating the Accident: Speedrunning as Community and Practice

Title:

Re-curating the Accident: Speedrunning as Community and Practice

Scully-Blaker, Rainforest (2016) Re-curating the Accident: Speedrunning as Community and Practice. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
Text (application/pdf)
Scully-Blaker_MA_F2016 v2.pdf - Accepted Version
1MB

Abstract

This thesis is concerned with speedrunning, the practice of completing a video game as quickly as possible without the use of cheats or cheat devices as well as the community of players that unite around this sort of play. As video games become increasingly ubiquitous in popular media and culture, the project of accounting for and analysing how people interact with these pieces of software becomes more relevant than ever before. As such, this thesis emerges as an initiatory treatment of a relatively niche segment of game culture that has gone underrepresented in extant game and media scholarship. The text begins by discussing speedrunning as a community. By chronicling the community’s beginnings on SpeedDemosArchive.com and examining its growth with the emergence of contemporary content hosting sites like YouTube and Twitch, this thesis presents speedrunning as a collaborative and fast-growing community of practice made up of players who revel in playing games quickly. From there, an analysis of space and speed, both natural and virtual, is undertaken with a view to understanding how speedrunning as a practice relates to games as narrative spaces. Discussions of rule systems in games and within the speedrunning community itself follow. It is ultimately argued that speedrunning is a museum of accidents, a re-curating of a game according to what this thesis calls its explicit rules. This claim is expanded upon through the coining of a concept dubbed curatorial play as well as several case studies of developer responses to various games being speedrun.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Scully-Blaker, Rainforest
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:September 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Consalvo, Mia
Keywords:Media studies, game studies, video game, play, instrumental play, player studies, player community, museum of accidents, community of practice, speed, space, speedrun,
ID Code:982159
Deposited By: RAINFOREST SCULLY-BLAKER
Deposited On:27 Jan 2017 20:47
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54

References:

5 Bits Games. (2014). Deadcore. Tecmo Koei.

Arinç, Cihat. "Curating Ghostly Objects: Counter-Memories in Cinematic Space." The Curatorial: A Philosophy of Curating. Ed. Jean-Paul Martinon. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. 183-95.

Aylett, Ruth. "Narrative in virtual environments-towards emergent narrative." AAAI fall symposium on narrative intelligence. Noveber 5-7, 1999, North Falmouth, Massachusetts, United States.

Bainbridge, Wilma Alice and William Sims Bainbridge. “Creative Uses of Software Errors: Glitches and Cheats”. Social Science Computer Review vol. 25, no. 1. 2007. Web.

Bellah, Robert N. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Berkeley: U of California, 1985.

Bethesda Game Studios. (2011). The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Bethesda Softworks.

Bioware. (2014). Dragon Age: Inquisition. Electronic Arts.
Bismarck, Beatrice Von., Jörn Schafaff, and Thomas Weski, eds. Cultures of the Curatorial. Berlin: Sternberg, 2012.
Blizzard Entertainment. (1998) StarCraft. Blizzard Entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment. (2010). StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Blizzard Entertainment

Boellstorff, Tom, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce, and T.L. Taylor. Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2012.

Borgmann, Albert. "Is the Internet the Solution to the Problem of Community?" Community in the Digital Age: Philosophy and Practice. Ed. Andrew Feenberg and Darin David Barney. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. 53-67.

BtheDestryr. “Toby Fox has stated he wants Undertale to NOT be played at SGDQ 2016”. March 8, 2016. /r/speedrun. Web.
Bungie. (2001). Halo: Combat Evolved. Microsoft.

Caillois, Roger. Man, Play and Games. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. 1961 | 2001.

Cavanagh, Terry. (2010). VVVVVV. Nicalis.

Coleman, Gabriella. Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.

Coleman, Gabriella. Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. London: Verso Books, 2014.

Consalvo, Mia, Sarah Christina Ganzon, Jason Begy, and Rainforest Scully-Blaker. “Tandem Play: Theorizing Sociality in Single-Player Gameplay”. ICA 2016, June 9-13, 2016, Fukuoka, Japan.

Consalvo, Mia. Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007.

Cryptic Studios. (2004). City of Heroes. NCSOFT

De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: U of California, 1980 | 1984.

Etzioni, Amitai. "On Virtual, Democratic Communities." Community in the Digital Age: Philosophy and Practice. Ed. Andrew Feenberg and Darin David Barney. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. 225-38.

Ewalt, David M. "The ESPN of Video Games." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 2 Dec. 2013. Web. 06 July 2016.

Fox, Toby. (2015). Undertale. Toby Fox.

Franklin, Seb. ““We Need Radical Gameplay, Not Just Radical Graphics”: Towards a Contemporary Minor Practice in Computer Gaming.” symploke. 17.1 (2009): 163-180.

Fuller, Mary, and Henry Jenkins. "Nintendo® and New World Travel Writing: A Dialogue." CyberSociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community. Ed. Steve Jones. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1995. 57-72.

Galloway, Alexander R., and Eugene Thacker. The Exploit: A Theory of Networks. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 2007.

Game Freak. (1996). Pokémon Red/Blue Version. Nintendo

Gears For Breakfast. (Forthcoming). A Hat in Time. Gears for Breakfast.

Georgen, Chris, Sean C. Duncan, and Lucas Cook. “From Lurking to Participatory Spectatorship: Understanding Affordances of the Dota 2 Noob Stream”. CSCL 2015, June 7-11, 2015, Gothemburg, Sweden.

Good, Owen. "Here's Why Sailing Took So Damn Long in Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker." Kotaku. 13 June 2013. Web.

Gulyas, Daniel. "The Wind Waker HD Still Has Super Swimming." Oprainfall. N.p., 13 June 2013. Web.

Hamilton, William, Oliver Garretson, and Andruid Kerne. “Streaming on Twitch: Fostering participatory communities of play within live mixed media” CHI 2014, April 26-May 1, 2014, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Harper, Todd L. The Art of War: Fighting Games, Performativity, and Social Game Play. Diss. Ohio University, 2010.
Hidden Path Entertainment. (2012). Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Valve Corporation.
Horst, Heather A., and Daniel Miller, eds. Digital Anthropology. London: Berg, 2012.
Huizinga, Johan. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture. Boston: Beacon Press. 1950.

Juul, Jesper. Half-Real: Video Games Between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2005. Print.

Kaytoue, Mehdi et al, “Watch me playing, I am a professional: a first study on video game live streaming” WWW 2012 Companion, April 16-20, 2012, Lyon, France.

Kendall, Lori. "Community and the Internet." The Handbook of Internet Studies. Ed.
Mia Consalvo and Charles Ess. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 309-25.

Kim, Eugene. "Amazon Buys Twitch For $970 Million In Cash." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 25 Aug. 2014. Web. 06 July 2016.

Kocurek, Carly A. Coin-Operated Americans: Rebooting Boyhood at the Video Game Arcade. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 2015.

Kozinets, Robert V. Netnography: Doing Ethnographic Research Online. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE, 2010.

Lave, Jean, and Etienne Wenger. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. Malden: Blackwell, 1991. Print.

Lemieux, Patrick. “Losing Time: Microtemporal Histories of Speedrunning”. SCMS 2016, March 30 – April 3, 2016, Atlanta, United States of America.

Lowood, Henry. “High-performance play: The making of Machinima” Journal of Media Practice 7.1 (2006): 25-42.

Lowood, Henry. “Real-Time Performance: Machinima and Game Studies.” Internation Digital Media and Arts Association 2.1 (2013). Web.

Myers, David. "Play and punishment: The sad and curious case of Twixt." Unpublished manuscript, retrieved from: http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/ static/f/280482/3533905/1247015307030/ Myers_PlayPunishment_031508.pdf ?token=zwPy4x7urfBCVqzwi2jRXpeIvwQ%3D (2008).

Newman, James. “Playing (with) videogames”. Convergence vol. 11, no. 1. 2005. Web.

Newman, James. Best Before: Videogames, Supersession and Obsolescence. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2012.

Newman, James. Playing with Videogames. London: Routledge, 2008. Print.

Nintendo. (1995). Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Nintendo.

Nintendo. (2000). The Legend of Zelda: Marjora’s Mask. Nintendo.

Nintendo. (2002). Metroid Prime. Nintendo.

Nintendo. (2002). The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Nintendo.

Nintendo (2013). The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Nintendo.

Nitsche, Michael, and Henry Lowood. The Machinima Reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2011.

Nitsche, Michael. Video Game Spaces: Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Game Worlds. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2008. Print.

Noke0. “Superswimming is here to stay”. June 12, 2013. GameFAQs. Web.

O'Donnell, Casey. Developer's Dilemma: The Secret World of Videogame Creators. Cambridge: MIT, 2014. Print.

Parker, Felan. “The Significance of Jeep Tag: On Player-Imposed Rules in Video Games” Loading... 2.3 (2008). Web.

Parker, Felan. “What Would Foucault Think About Speed Runs, Jeep Jumps, and Zombie?” Halo and Philosophy: Intellect Evolved. Peterborough: Open Court Publishing Company, 2011. 175-190.

Parker, Felan. In the Domain of Optional Rules: Foucault’s Aesthetic Self-Fashioning and Expansive Gameplay. 2010.

"Partner Application." Twitch. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.

Perrson, Markus. (2011). Minecraft. Mojang.

Pokémon Speed Runs. "Decision: New Ruling on Instant Text" Pokémon Speed Runs. 26 Feb. 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.

Pokémon Speed Runs. "Poll: Revisiting Instant Text Ruling for Any% Glitchless." Pokémon Speed Runs. 19 Feb. 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.

Poremba, Cindy. Player as author: Digital games and agency. Diss. Simon Fraser University, 2003.

Postigo, Hector. "The Socio-technical Architecture of Digital Labor: Converting Play into YouTube Money." New Media & Society (2014). Web.
Raqs Media Collective. "On the Curatorial, From the Trapeze." The Curatorial: A Philosophy of Curating. Ed. Jean-Paul Martinon. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. 17-23.

Rare. (1998). Banjo Kazooie. Nintendo.

Romero, John and John Carmack. (1993) Doom. id Software.

Romero, John and John Carmack. (1996). Quake. id Software.

Russel, Christopher. “Speedrunning as Media Archaeology”. 1er symposium de la série Histoire du jeu, June 27-28, 2008, Montreal, Canada.

Salen, Katie and Eric Zimmerman. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.

Salen, Katie. “Quake! DOOM! Sims! Transoforming Play: Family Albums and Monster Movies” Walker Art Center. Web. 10 July, 2016.

Scully-Blaker, Rainforest. “A Practiced Practice: Speedrunning Through Space With de Certeau and Virilio” Game Studies 14.1 (2014). Web.

Scully-Blaker, Rainforest, Jason Begy, Mia Consalvo, and Sarah Christina Ganzon. “Playing along and playing for: Livestreaming from tandem play to performance” HICSS-50, January 4-7, 2017, Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Sihvonen, Tanja. Players Unleashed!: Modding the Sims and the Culture of Gaming. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2011.

Smith, Thomas, Mariana Obrist, & Peter Wright. “Live- streaming changes the (video) game”. Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Interactive TV and Video, 2013. 131-138.
SpeedDemosArchve "Rules." SDA Knowledge Base. Web. 10 July 2016.
Speedrun Wiki "Twin Galaxies." Speedrunwiki.com. Web. 10 July 2016.
Square Enix. (2002). Final Fantasy XI. Square Enix.

Squire, Kurt and Henry Jenkins. “The Art of Contested Spaces” Publications Henry Jenkins. Web. 10 July, 2016.

StarCraft Wiki. "Actions Per Minute." Starcraft Wiki. Web. 10 July 2016.

StarCraft Wiki. "Rush." Starcraft Wiki. Web. 10 July 2016.

Sutton-Smith, Brian. The Ambiguity of Play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1997.

Švelch, Jaroslav. "Comedy of contingency: making physical humor in video game spaces." International Journal of Communication vol. 8. 2014: 2530-2552.

Taylor, T. L. Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2006.

Taylor, T. L. Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2012.

Team Meat. (2010). Super Meat Boy. Team Meat.

Venkatesh, Vivek, Jason Wallin, Juan Carlos Castro, and Jason Edward Lewis. "Educational, Psychological, and Behavioural Considerations in Niche Online Communities." IGI Global, 2014. 1-465. Web.

Virilio, Paul. "The Museum of Accidents." Art Press 102 (1977|1986): 13-14.

Virilio, Paul. Speed and Politics: An Essay on Dromology. New York, NY, USA: Columbia U, 1986.

Virilio, Paul. The Aesthetics of Disappearance. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext, 1980|2009.

Walker, Austin. “Watching Us Play: Postures and Platforms of Live Streaming” Surveillance and Society: Vol 12, No 3, (2014). Web.
Walker, Robin and John Cook. Team Fortress 2. (2007). Valve Corporation
Warshaw, Howard Scott. (1982). E.T. Atari Inc.

Watson, Nicholas. “Procedural Trivia: How Players Decode Minecraft”. CGSA 2016, June 1-3, 2016, Calgary, Canada.

Wolf, Mark J. P. The Medium of the Video Game. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001.

Wright, Will. (2000). The Sims. Maxis.

Available Versions of this Item

All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top