The Rise of Speedrunning Dogs: A Whimsical Trend or Animal Exploitation?

When it comes to gaming and charity, Games Done Quick has gained popularity for its impressive feats in raising funds for various causes. However, in recent years, the organization has introduced a new twist to the world of speedrunning: the inclusion of animals. While Peanut Butter, a shiba inu trained to play a NES game, has captured the attention and hearts of viewers, it raises questions about the limits of this peculiar trend. Are we on the verge of witnessing cats, snapping turtles, or even parrots taking the reins of gaming? Where will this madness end?

JSR_, a renowned speedrunner, showcased his dog, Peanut Butter, as the star of his performance. But let’s be clear: Peanut Butter was not in control. Instead, JSR_ had trained the adorable canine to respond to certain commands and mimic gameplay actions. As intriguing as it may be, this unique display is more a testament to JSR_’s training abilities than Peanut Butter’s gaming prowess. It took a year of teaching for Peanut Butter to stay seated for half an hour and press pressure plate buttons on command. Despite its novelty, the extent to which we intertwine our pets with our hobbies seems to be growing to absurd levels.

From the amusing antics of a player masquerading as a goose in Untitled Goose Game to the spectacle of a dog controlling a game, the line between entertainment and exploitation becomes increasingly blurred. While the meme dog stream successfully garnered significant charity donations, there is cause for concern. The potential rise of fame-seeking individuals acquiring shiba inus solely for the purpose of showcasing them as speedrunning dogs is disconcerting. We risk entering a realm where animals become mere tools for personal gain, only to be discarded when the novelty wears off.

Despite my reservations, I must acknowledge the positive impact that events like Games Done Quick have in raising funds for worthy causes. The organization deserves praise for its efforts to combine gaming and charity. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out their streams and consider making a donation. However, we must remain vigilant in questioning the ethical boundaries of our entertainment.

As the world becomes more enamored with the idea of speedrunning animals, we must pause and reflect on the consequences. While it may seem amusing and harmless in its current form, the potential for animal exploitation looms large. We should not underestimate the impact this trend may have on both animals and the perception of their value. Games Done Quick and similar platforms hold immense power to shape public opinion, and it is vital that they exercise responsible judgment in their programming choices.

In an era where the world awaits the release of Elden Ring, a video game eagerly anticipated by fans everywhere, we might find ourselves asking, “What’s next?” Will monkeys and typewriters be the next contenders in speedrunning competitions? Only time will tell. However, we must proceed with caution and ensure that our pursuit of entertainment does not come at the expense of the well-being of animals.

While the rise of speedrunning animals may appear whimsical and captivating, it is our responsibility to critically examine the ethical implications. Let us support charitable endeavors and enjoy the gaming community’s creativity while remaining mindful of the boundaries between entertainment and exploitation. Together, we can foster a gaming culture that celebrates both human achievements and the well-being of our furry friends.


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