Twice a year, dozens of speedrunners — that is, gamers who play games as quickly as humanly, and technically, possible — come together to raise money for charity. In Awesome Games Done Quick last week, run by the Games Done Quick organization, the group broke its own fundraising records. This time? Exactly $3,155,199.56 through 54,171 donations, all of which goes to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
But that’s not all that donors accomplished this time, because according to the website, Games Done Quick as an organization has officially reached yet another major milestone. With AGDQ 2020 wrapped, over all of GDQ’s official events the past decade, the organization has raised a total of over well over $25 million. Precisely, they’ve raised $25,694,699.85 through 535,397 donations over 25 counted events. The money went to a multitude of organizations for a number of respective events.
Basically, they’ve raised an average of $1 million per event. However, even a number like that barely does justice to the increased popularity — and reputation — of each mainline Games Done Quick event.
Money flows in in part because the reputation of GDQ event almost precedes itself. There are people who, if they can’t have it up while doing work, will miss an entire week of work just to catch it. Personally, I’ve fallen asleep in front of the stream quite a few times. It’s an entertaining display of the knowledge and capabilities of players who fall in love with games — perhaps in nontraditional ways.
Each GDQ event has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. This year, for instance, fans were eagerly awaiting the final day’s run of the endearingly-popular Untitled Goose Game. While the run required the player to play the game normally by completing all the tasks assigned by the game, there was an incentive to add on an extra “any percent” speedrun for a traditionally-beloved glitchy-as-honk run.
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On Saturday as well, there was a “randomizer” run of Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, which included a fan-controlled “Crowd Control” extension. Premiering at AGDQ, “Crowd Control” allowed fans to use donations of Twitch Bits to control what happened in-game. The more mild alterations included Link’s skins, plus item quantity alterations for bombs, arrows, and Rupees. The player also had to deal with button placement alteration, “Ice Physics,” and one-hit KO conditions. And at worst, players could donate increasingly high bit amounts to instantly kill Link. On the spot. With no warning. Between these conditions and the couch commentary, it was an entertaining run.
There was also a pretty high-energy crowd-funded speedrun of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! with the most out-there twists: it was a two-player, one-controller run, with both players blindfolded. It’s exactly as absurd as it looks, and its finish was met with an uproarious applause.
Both 2019 and 2020 were full of great games waiting to be absolutely blasted through, and there are plenty of great older and retro games to revisit. Hopefully, this year’s next major event, Summer Games Done Quick, one-ups GDQ’s own repertoire.