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    PlanetQuake | Articles | Interviews | Quake Speedrun Community
   

Quake Speedrun Community Interviews - Part I
Where a shot of speed is not only legal, it's encouraged!
— by Jube



Ilkka 'Mineral' Kurkela also took home his share of Nolans awards, doing Finland proud in the process. I'm sure it won't be long before we're seeing Ilkka posters, t-shirts, sneakers and clothing lines in fine department stores everywhere!


Jube: At the recent Nolans 2K2 Quake Speed Run Awards you managed to snag yourself a couple of the little gold statues, congrats! How much time do you put into running these days? Do you have any specific speedrun goals, or have you pretty much achived everything you've set out to do?

Mineral: Thanks! It was really nice to win the awards. These days I'm not playing Quake too much anymore. I'm only speedrunning occasionally, like once in 3 months or something. For the speedrunning goals, I don't think I have any huge ones. Although, I like being a semi-active speedrunner, which means that I might come up with some goals (like breaking the 500 demo barrier), who knows... My most active days are over though.

Jube: What other games do you play currently, and do you have any hobbies outside of gaming?

Mineral: I played Diablo 2 some months ago, but at the moment I'm not into gaming that much. I'm planning to get Master of Orion 3 though. My hobbies outside gaming are pretty much sports and music. I'm a Drum'n'Bass producer & DJ here in Finland.

Jube: What's keeping the Quake Speedrun Community alive after all of these years?

Mineral: First of all I think that Quake (accidentally?) had so many different possibilities for speedrunning tricks that it kept the scene alive for quite a few years. All from the "basic" rocketjumps to the most insane double-fiend-pushes and voreball-jumps etc. Then another important thing in my opinion is that many of the runners have met each other (at Speedcon events), and we're really good friends in real life too. I also must give huge respect to Stubby and Morfans, for keeping SDA updated all the time. I'm pretty much sure that the community would've more or less died without their work.

Jube: Which country do you think has spawned the best runners over the years? (By the way, I always cheer for the Fins, since my mother's side of the family is Finnish.)

Mineral: Finland, that's obvious :)

Jube: In your personal opinion, outside of yourself, who is the all-time best runner?

Mineral: All-time best runner, hmm. I cannot say who's the best, but guys like Jozsef, Markus and Peter have suprised me more than just a couple of times.

Jube: The Quake speedrun community appears to be primarily European at this point. Why do you think that is? Not enough stamina on the part of the North American Quakers, or perhaps the skill of the Euros just spanked them into hiding? :)

Mineral: I think that the speedrunning scene has always being primarily European. I have to mention Optic (North American Quaker) here though, as he's just done such a crazy amount of demos (942!). I bet nobody will ever do more demos than he has done. But yeah, it's us the Europeans that have the skillz :)

Jube: Who are your favourite cast of characters from the speedrun community? Not necessarily the best runners, but just the people in general that you enjoy hanging out with, the people who help keep the community alive.

Mineral: All the guys that I've met in real life: Jesse, Will, Marlo, Fabian, Stefan, Ingmar, Nolan, Anthony, + the Fins. At the moment I'm planning a trip to Berlin next autumn, where I will speedrun Berlin Marathon with Jesse. We'll see who's faster there :)


Jesse van Dijk hangs his hat in The Netherlands, where he's got the need for speed both in AND outside of Quake. Although he wasn't up for a Nolans Award this year, he did help make the event happen and created this year's trophy. Can't have an awards ceremony without a naked-man statuette!


Jube: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what are you doing with your time when not hanging in IRC or playing Quake?

Jesse: Hi, I'm Jesse van Dijk, 26, living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Currently I'm working on the final project of my studies in Industrial Design Engineering. These days the small design bureau I'm running consumes a lot of my time too. Outside of these things and gaming I practise sports quite a lot.

Jube: I noticed in your SDA Profile that you enjoy speed skating, do you still skate? Do you compete? Do you think that your interests in both speed skating and Quake speedrunning are related in any way?

Jesse: I can tell you've done your homework! :) Indeed, I'm still speedskating frequently, about three to four trainings a week, more if I can find the time. I also compete in speedskating tournaments, both on ice and on wheels.

As for similarities between Quake speedrunning and speedskating, yes, I think the disciplines have something in common, for me at least. I'm kind of a perfectionist. Back in the days when I was still actively speedrunning myself, I enjoyed the possibility to practise a certain move over and over and over again. It's really rewarding to be able to tell you're making progress by seeing the 'final time' go lower every time, even if this only happens with very small steps each time. Speedskating is exactly like this. You practise the same skating technique (which I'm a lot better at then running btw ;) over and over again, and like speedrunning, you can measure your improvements very accurately. And, of course, I just get a kick out of speed :)

Jube: What do you think is keeping the Quake Speedrun Community alive after all of these years?

Jesse: Commitment and dedication from a very small amount of people, that is everything. These days Thomas Stubgaard and Richard Skidmore (and three or four others behind the scenes) really keep things running (no pun intended). Before Thomas and Richard were around, there were others of course, but the key element for such an 'alive scene' has always been the insane amounts of time a select group of people was willing to invest in managing QdQ, SDA and their projects.

Jube: In your opinion, who's the all-time best runner?

Jesse: Yonatan Donner won this year's all-time great award, and I suppose he's the one that deserves it most when regarding things purely 'running-wise'. He was just so good at such an early stage. Sure, many others are faster than him these days, but you musn't forget he invented many, many tricks, routes, and techniques. His impact was possibly only matched by Ilkka Kurkela, who first used bunny-hopping to great effect in speedrunning.

 - click for full size image
The 2002 Nolans Award

Jube: Of course I have to bring up the fantastic Nolans 2K2 Award you designed. It's very well done, but at the same time I find it rather creepy to look at. ;) When you designed it, was your intention to be serious, humourous, or something else entirely?

Jesse: Glad you like it! :) What I mainly wanted to express with the statue was my deep rooted longing for Nolan's muscular body, and I depicted it the way I usually fantasize about it... completely drenched in oily massag... WAIT!! You're not taping this are you!??

Jube: Which country do you think has spawned the best runners over the years?

Jesse: That's a tough one. One remarkable fact is that nearly all fast runners are from Europe; only very few Americans can keep up with the speed at SDA :) Another remarkable aspect is that seemingly all runners are able to speak swedish except me (but that's probably just my feeling of inferiority over lacking proper running skills distorting my vision).

Jube: Would you like to recognize certain individuals for making the speedrun community what it is?

Jesse: TeamSDA for once again bringing us the Nolans! There are far too many others I'd like to thank for their efforts too mention here, but in order to make some distintion, I would like to specifically thank the people that didn't win the Lifetime achievement award. They all more than deserved it: Anthony Bailey, Justin Fleck, Ilkka Kurkela, Matthias Belz and Stefan Schwoon.


Thanks for the chat guys! Watch for Part II of this interview series with SDA's Stubby and Morfans coming soon! -Jube


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