Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Speed Running

One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.

What is speed-running what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: Speed Running = Playing a game through from start to finish far faster than it was originally intended to be played.  Speed-running is a public entertainment performance, broadcast online by talented individuals as well as at large-scale sponsored entertainment events.

What It Means: Speed-running is when a player utilises known bugs, glitches, shortcuts, console commands and tricks in order to play a game through at high speed. Games which would take an ordinary player many hours to complete can be “completed” by talented speed-runners in mere minutes. The Games Done Quick events are the most famous example of an international speed-running event and, as with most gaming events, has a strong element of community and charitable giving, with money raised for cancer charities, autism charities, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and for emergency relief during the aftermath of the 2011 Japan Earthquake.

Why You Care: Speed-running requires an expert level knowledge of the target game, delving deeply into the code, theory and structures of how the game is put together, in order to rip it apart and find new paths. This meticulous research and play-testing takes hundreds of hours, and can appear obsessive. Speed-running is a public entertainment form – a sort of “magic tricks with video-games” – and often with a competitive or faux-competitive angle. When speed-runners are online, they are performing under immense pressure. If the young people in your life want to take up speed-running, they will likely need a level of support from you to ensure they take regular screen breaks and are able to channel their stress effectively when on camera. Good speed-runners become celebrities within their own communities, who recognise the hard work and talent required to execute the most impressive speed-runs.

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Games Culture

Genius Lady-Gamer Uses Lipstick To Play Counter-Strike

This is genius. No, really. Superb multi-tasker Chloe Desmoineaux has adapted a tube of lipstick to enable her to play the online multiplayer game Counter-Strike. Using Makey-Makey, an electronics experimentation kit we often see adventurous teachers using in schools, Desmoineaux plays the entire game simply by applying make-up, with the contact between skin and stick completing the low voltage circuit. You can watch her using her brilliant creation in action every week until June on Twitch, and maybe it’ll inspire your family to try a project of your own!

Update:

We’ve also found this awesome video of a family using carrots to play Super Mario Bros!

 

Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Twitch

One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.

Except, this week, it’s happening on a Tuesday because I got confused by the 24hr clock and set it to publish on the wrong day! As I can’t sack myself, I’ve put myself on reduced chocolate rations for the rest of the week in punishment. Sorry about that ladies and gents!

What is  Twitch, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: Twitch = A video-game streaming platform.

What It Means:  Twitch is a popular service which allows users to play a video-game in real time whilst simultaneously broadcasting what they are playing onto the internet.

Why You Care: Twitch allows players to share the games they are playing with other people around the world online. This is something parents should be aware of, as it allows kids and teens to see the content of games they might not be allowed at home. We’ve seen this used a lot of times by kids as a crafty bolster to their “but all my friends have it” claims.  When they can describe the game’s content, perhaps embellishing a little here and there, kids can sometimes cleverly convince their parents that they have played it at a friend’s house, and that as “everyone has it” they should be permitted to own a copy too. Try to turn these streaming services to your parental advantage by using them to pre-check a game’s content to see if it meets with your approval. Don’t get the wool pulled over your eyes by suspiciously well-informed youngsters!

Got more queries about Twitch and similar web-casting services? Drop us your questions: