A longplay is a play-through of a video game, created with the intent of completing it as fully as possible, mainly for the purposes of nostalgia, preservation, and possibly as a walkthrough. Also, for people unable or unwilling to play a certain game, yet wish to know and experience its story, a longplay can be viewed simply as a long digitally animated movie. Unlike speedruns, there is no time constraint aside from those imposed by bandwidth/filesize concerns.
The defining characteristic of a longplay is that few shortcuts, if any, are taken to finish the game. Dull moments may be ultimately edited out of the final video, and sidequests may be ignored, but in general every task necessary to reach the end is to be recorded, including cutscenes.
WinVice has proprietary History files which can reconstruct a gaming session with substantial filesize savings over traditional video codecs. The downside is that such files require exactly the same version of WinVice to view them.
MAME emulator can record and replay game sessions in a similar way using .inp file format.
FRAPS is a PC software that can be used to capture every frame drawn by the video card in a game and can save it in the HD. The downside is that only with the full version can you record more than 30 seconds and with audio. Also, even in the full version, Fraps captures in an uncompressed AVI format so captures may require a large storage device. Third party plug-ins are required in some media players to be able to see its uncompressed capture, or re-encoding the video with software like Windows Movie Maker.
DOSBox is emulator software that emulates an IBM PC compatible computer running MS-DOS. It is intended especially for use with old DOS video games. Videos are recorded using ZMVB codec <http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=DosBox_Capture_Codec>, which uses AVI as a container.
Some games (for example, Doom) have a demo recording feature built into the game.
"Speedrun" and "game replay" emerged in recent years as a subset of "Play-through" and gained popularity by being entertaining and competitive while needing only minutes of video. Video sharing websites accelerated their acceptance. Advances in consumer recording equipment, codecs, hard drive space, and internet services were necessary before complete games could reasonably be saved and shared.
Outside of the communities specializing in the practice, "Longplay" is relatively unknown, though understood from context. The ambiguous umbrella term play-through is widely used instead.
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- "Google Video-Play-throughs". Google. Retrieved March 3, 2008.