World Record

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A World Record, often abbreviated to WR, is the fastest known speed run or the best known high score for a category or level.

There is always an outside possibility that there are people in the world with better records than the video gaming community at large knows about. However, in general this possibility is ignored, for good reasons:

  1. By definition, ANY world record is the "best known" world record, and all world records were "unknown" before they were reported. This applies to every record in the Guinness Book Of Records as much as it does to the videogaming community.
  2. In the case of popular or long-fought-for records, it becomes exceedingly unlikely that anybody could have independently discovered the necessary strategies and beaten the known WR without having any contact with the videogaming community.
  3. Speculation is pointless, especially in an arena where proof is so critical.

The Proceedings of the 13th International Harvest And Verification of WRs Symposium (IHAVWRS) identified six categories of records:

  • WR (Type 0) - the zenith of WRdom, characterised by having a publicly known strategy that is demanding on player skill. Skill is defined as "a combination of masterful and appropriate use of technique, accurate timing and aim, and (above all) consistency in any gaming endavor" (pp 241, ibid.) Examples include videogame WRs with video evidence, sports records recognized by official bodies such as IAAF or FINA, and world's fastest typing speed.
  • Question-mark WR (Type 1) - a record for which the skill factor is uncertain. Usually these are records where the strategy in whole or in part is unknown. A common case is that the record holder is keeping something secret. Even if such a record has evidence for its legitimacy, it cannot qualify for Type 0 because others cannot replicate its strategy and ascertain the degree of skill required.
  • Lucky WR (Type 2a) - a record where chance outweighs skill. Typically characterized by random players doing well while famous players struggle. If you're no better at something on attempt #500 than attempt #5, you are probably playing such a challenge. Getting a Lucky WR requires an inordinate number of attempts until probability theory gets bored of screwing you over. If you got a Lucky WR in less than 100 attempts, it was probably actually a Type 2b, Type 3 or Type 4. Examples include 'biggest ever lottery win' and YVSC lap.
  • Virgin WR (Type 2b) - a record yet to break into the mainstream. These are challenges with few reported scores thereby making it easier to beat others. Most commonly these are in games that are still too new for any notable competition, or are challenges that are too unpopular. The label Type 2b is transient and Type 2b WRs don't remain in this category for long; they either degenerate into Type 3 or are promoted to Type 1 and Type 0 over time.
  • Stupid WR (Type 3) - 'records' for lame and stupid challenges that are lame and stupid, and lame. Examples include 'biggest fish caught in LoZ:TP', 'most worms held in mouth for one minute', 'longest freefall skydive while playing a DS by a three-headed midget', or other things you'd see on Guiness TV.
  • Cheated WR (Type 4) - records made with cheating. Cheating involves either lying directly about one's score, or using any banned or otherwise unfair tactic or substance to achieve it. People will still call such records 'records' because they don't know any better, but such records are not really records. Eventually they're found out, and the cheater is hung, drawn, quartered and sold for slavery. In countries where this is (unfortunately) illegal, they are simply banned and forced to suffer public humiliation and ridicule for the rest of their life.