Speedrunning in VR is a full body activity, and it is amazing.
Speedrunners have become one with the metaverse. Videos like this one of Ben Massey (aka Bean) annihilating SUPERHOT VR in record time proves it.
The original SUPERHOT, a first person shooter where time only progresses when you move, was one of the best games Motherboard had time to play in 2016, and its virtual reality version is one of the few reasons it’s worth owning a VR headset with motion control and movement tracking.
Speedrunning, or the art of racing to beat games at unbelievably fast speeds, is nothing new. However, SUPERHOT VR is one of a few VR games that has been adopted the by speedrunning community.
This fact itself makes VR speedrunning so impressive. Whereas a typical speedrunner uses a gamepad to glitch through the game, SUPERHOT VR is controlled via wireless Oculus Touch motion controllers, meaning that these speedrunners physically exert themselves at ninja speeds to beat the game in record time.
“Training for a VR game is different than a traditional flat game. It relies on your whole body,” said Chris “Fhajad_034” Gross, who became the SUPERHOT VR “any percent” speedrunning champ last week, only to be dethroned by Massey over the weekend.
“I had a shoulder surgery two years ago, and never regained [full range of motion] of my left shoulder. After running the game for two weeks, I basically regained full movement again,” he said.
While it takes an ordinary person about two hours complete the game, Massey, the current world record holder according to the speedrun.com leaderboard, manages to do it in less time than it takes me to make a pour-over cup of coffee. He completed SUPERHOT VR‘s 14 levels in a blazing 8 minutes 36 seconds, besting Gross, who is now in third place, by 13 seconds.
So… it’s probably not the best idea to challenge this guy to a duel with throwing stars in real-life. But watching him dismantle hapless polygonal enemies is a thing of beauty.