2018. I'm in Minneapolis, attending Summer Games Done Quick.
I was about to join some people into a hotel room to go watch some hentai, but I never got the room number. Feeling left out, I go to the event's DDR Extreme cab for a round of dancing. Afterwards, I'm empty: I put all my desires of the night to go watch and riff at hentai with people I barely even knew. And so, I ask on twitter, where I knew that someone within the premises could answer my question: Is there anything going on right now?
I get an answer: "Come to the practice room, we're playing Pringles."
Oh fuck. What did they mean by that? I'm curious, I've got nothing else to do, so I go.
The practice room, home of dozens of televisions. Consoles and chairs galore. It'd be full during the day, but it's currently 2AM or so, so it's mostly empty. A bunch of people are huddled around two specific televisions. The pringles mascot is bouncing around, bouncing on chips and yelling "No Way" whenever he'd bounce on an oversized cylinder of pringles.
This is so dumb. But I've got to play it. I sucked at it. I spent 2 hours playing through the game while others are either spectating or waiting for their turn. We're all doing it casually, in good fun. We were playing Pringles as the developer intended.
The next day, I was craving for more Pringles.
Once again, at night, two pringles stations were set up and ready to go for anyone to play. Only this time, the person behind it, Seckswrecks, was timing people. We were officially speedrunning Pringles. I got totally and utterly sucked in: what would be a flash game from the aughts hypnotized me to play it for hours on end, enticing me to get a better finishing time, to bounce on those chips and get to the end goal in record time.
And record time, I did get. I was glued to the seat. Not a lot of people wanted to play, so I kept going. I'll never forget the discovery I made as I frantically post in the newly created Pringles Speedrunning Discord Server:
"Guys, holy shit, I found a time saver."
People hurried in the practice room, speeding directly to the Pringles station to find out this exciting new development. I found out that you can hold a button to make the main menu's animations go faster. Those animations blocked us from going from level to level until it was done. I just saved a whole bunch of time.
This speedrunning development cemented my love and dedication for this game. I returned home with hours upon hours of experience already in the game. I ordered a genesis and a bootleg cart on aliexpress. I played more Pringles at home and showed it to my friends (they had a laugh. all in good fun). I have always wanted to speedrun a video game, and I was able to do so with Pringles.
This trend continued in SGDQ of 2019, where there were, once more, two pringles stations in the practice room. Even more people joined in and had a go at the speedrunning leaderboards in real time. I've loved the game, the event, the people, all over again.
A game about a food mascot has given me some of the fondest memories of my life, and I will never forget them.