Speedrunner Buffet Time has drawn attention to the remarkably athletic world of Half-Life: Alyx speedruns at this year’s Summer Games Done Quick. To achieve the variety of glitches, exploits, and clever tricks that make the incredibly short time possible Buffet Time has to execute a lot of very athletic maneuvers. He jumps, squats, runs, and bounces around the VR playspace to variously “break” the game or achieve otherwise impossible results.
The final speedrun is really interesting and enjoyable. Though his final time of 22m 31s is only the fourth-fastest on record, it’s one that has a narrator letting you know what’s going on:
Watching him play is kind of shocking. It points to a future of game speedruns that are wildly different from what we envision now, should VR become further mainstreamed. Speedrunners are considered esport athletes in many ways, but if a VR speedrunner has to do burpees and learn techniques like martial arts kip ups to compete, that’s a whole new layer of athleticism.