This documentary dives into the clever, charitable world of videogame speedrunning

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Ever wanted a nice documentary to just sit you down and introduce you to the world of speedrunning? Well, wish fulfilled, because Running With Speed has just released, a documentary that dives into story of what speedrunning is, who speedrunners are, and how their culture has developed. It follows some notable and famous speedrunners, telling their stories both past and present. 

It also talks about the remarkable community that has coalesced around Games Done Quick, the charity organization that has in the past 13 years raised over $41 million for charities like Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders.

It's narrated by YouTube documentarian Summoning Salt (opens in new tab) in a whirlwind that spans years of gaming history but focuses on a few more famous games above others, games like the Mario series and Super Metroid, which probably means you can watch it with non-gaming and gaming-adjacent friends and family. It's also, I have to say, not just smiles: It treats its subjects as real people with triumphs and tragedies all their own.

Running With Speed: The Fastest Gamers on Earth is a three-part series. The first, called Masters of Mario, focuses on Mario game speedrunners. The second focuses on Games Done Quick, from its start in someone's mom's basement to packed hotels and millions in donations, then focuses on the up-and-coming genre of competitive speedrunning. The third part, Game Not Over, talks to people somewhat outside the current norm, talking to Metroid speedrunners like Zoast and Hotarubi before pivoting to talk to once famous but now-retired speedrunner Narcissa Wright.

The documentary was made by Good Deed Entertainment, and you can find out more about it on their website. (opens in new tab)

Running With Speed releases just in time for this year's Games Done Quick, which will run from January 8th to January 15th, 2023.  (opens in new tab)

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.