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How A BioShock Speedrunner Pranked Us All

In speedrunning, there's no time for jokes — usually. At this year's Awesome Games Done Quick, a convention dedicated to, well, playing awesome games really, really quickly, one speedrunner terrified and entertained us all with a well-timed prank.


Speedrunner BloodThunder was making his way through BioShock at a breakneck pace, bypassing lengthy dialogue and grabbing key items by taking advantage of various glitches. But then the worst kind of glitch happened, and BloodThunder suddenly faced a speedrunner's worst nightmare: the blue screen of death. This aptly named screen shows a frowny face and the message, "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart."

Cue the widespread cries of outrage. Typically, a catastrophic error like this would spell the end of a speedrun. Windows might take moments or millennia in order to get itself back together and allow for players to give it another go. BloodThunder didn't appear to be phased, however. He reassured the audience before the infamous blue screen suddenly switched to... the opening scene of Skyrim. Well played, BloodThunder, well played.


In case you're not hip with the kids, BloodThunder was referencing a meme that places the opening scene of Skyrim in unlikely places. No one was expecting to see it at Awesome Games Done Quick. BloodThunder quickly returned to his speedrun, and even bested his estimated completion time. This was, frankly, a pretty ballsy move on his part. He had planned this little prank ahead of time, and had even alluded to it just moments before the blue screen filled everyone's hearts with terror. 

Bypassing a famous monologue, BloodThunder said, "some weird stuff can happen" at that moment in the game. Weird stuff like... Skyrim, perhaps? In the end, BloodThunder apologized profusely to the tech crew, who likely had simultaneous heart attacks. He had truly kept this prank under wraps. Now, however, it is going down in video game history as one of the scariest, most unexpected pranks in speedrunning.