By Matt Gagliano
This article is about how to speedrun life…and time! Hell yeah, that’s a new personal best: 3 seconds on my “writing an introduction for a Binghamton Review article” speedrun. As you can probably tell, I’ve been getting into speedruns lately. While I’m not good enough to actually speedrun any games myself, I still find it very entertaining to watch others effortlessly fly through a game in ways that don’t even seem possible. My original idea for this article was met with some opposition from the Editor-in-Chief; mayhaps it will finally see the light of day next year, when there’s a new Editor-in-Chief, who I have a strong feeling will support said idea. Anyway, in an attempt to come up with an alternative topic for me to write about, he mentioned something about speedruns, and much like when Newton got hit in the head with the apple, it hit me. Not an apple, that would be weird. Especially because I was inside when it happened. Like, where would the apple even come from? Is there some delinquent running around just chucking apples at people for no reason? What does this apple chucker stand to gain from this? Is he trying to be like Cupid, but instead of shooting arrows to make people fall in love, he throws apples at people to give them sudden bursts of inspiration? I suppose it doesn’t really matter; what does matter is that it was this new idea that hit me, not an apple. I should write a tutorial on how to speedrun the game that all of us are forced to play: life.
First things first, no, I’m not talking about the board game. Why the hell would I be talking about the board game? It’s literally not even possible to speedrun a board game; all your movement relies on the luck of a dice roll. No, I’m talking about speedrunning your very existence; from the moment you emerge from the womb to the moment you take your last breath. Now, in order to give you valid advice on how to speedrun life, we have to first establish the type of speedrun we plan to do. Some of the most common speedruns are the any-percent speedrun (typically written as “any%”) and the 100% speedrun. While there are a lot of other types of speedruns (some of my favorites being the “get laid%” in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and “nipple%” in Super Mario Odyssey), the any% and 100% runs are what people usually think of when they think of speedruns, so those are the runs that I’m going to discuss today. Also, we technically all hold the record for the nipple% speedrun of life, seeing as we were all born without a shirt. Well, at least I hope we were all born without a shirt. I’m looking at you, Baby Shirt Larry.
In an any% speedrun, the run is complete once you reach the end of the game. Typically there are no requirements as to how you get there, as long as you make it to the end. If you’re currently reading this, then I’m sorry, you’ve already failed the any% speedrun of life. Since the any% run only requires that you finish the game, the fact that you didn’t die immediately after being born means you’ve already lost. The current world record for the life any% run is .08 seconds. This was achieved by exploiting a famous glitch known as the “pussy clip”. If you press down and jump at the exact frame in which you emerge from the womb, you can actually clip through your mother and, with another frame perfect input, land at just the right angle to break your neck, killing you instantly. This clip can only be pulled off by some of the most talented life players, so don’t feel ashamed that you couldn’t do it first try. After all, if you really want your name in the life speedrunning hall of fame, there’s always the 100% run.
As you can probably guess from the name, a 100% speedrun is complete only after you beat 100% of the game. This usually involves beating every level, completing all objectives, and pretty much just doing everything there is to do in a game. So, how does this apply to life? Well, if a 100% speedrun is completed once you finish all the objectives, then a 100% speedrun of life should be completed once you achieve everything you hope to achieve in life. For some, this involves getting a job, getting married, having kids, and other generic, boring, SLOW garbage like that. Only real, competitive life speedrunners know, if you want to shave precious seconds off of your life 100% run, you need to set the bar real low, and be ready to die as soon as you’ve hit it. The bar, I mean, not an apple. If you really want to optimize your run, you could have your only goal in life be to die, then utilize the pussy clip to get the world record for both the any% and 100% speedruns at the same time.
I think it’s about time to wrap this up; I’m already way off pace for the Binghamton Review article speedrun. While it may be fun to think about how speedrunning can be applied to things other than video games, it’s important to remember that life is not a race. There is no leaderboard for accomplishing certain things before everyone else. It may be really cool to see people beat games insanely fast, but ultimately it’s better to take your time and enjoy the game; you’ll have a lot more fun playing the game for 30 total hours than speedrunning it in 3. The same applies for life. Rather than counting the seconds, you should try and find a way to make every second count. Haha, just kidding, that’s what a SLOW LOSER would say! I’m going to invent time travel just so I can go back to before I was born and be the first person to complete a life speedrun with negative time! Smell you later, you turtle-adjacent idiots!