Admire them, fear them or pity them. Speedrunners are undeniably a unique community: they'll spend hundreds, if not thousands of hours meticulously combing through a game to find the optimal method of beating it as quick as humanely possible. Combining an encyclopedic knowledge of a game's most minute details with lightning fast reflexes to pull off that 'perfect' run and impress their peers. It's a relief, then, to see that devotion being harnessed and put towards a good cause. Of course, I'm referring to Games Done Quick: the biannual, livestreamed speedrunnning marathon that sees the speedrunning community uniting to share in their passion and help raise money for charity.
Awesome Games Done Quick begins this weekend (4:30PM UTC on Sunday 5th January) and will run until about 5:00AM UTC the following Sunday —a full week of non-stop speedrunning action! In previous years, charities such as Doctors Without Borders, AbleGamers, and Organization for Autism Research were the focus for fundraising. This year, Prevent Cancer Foundation is the supported charity.
This year marks the event's 10th anniversary and with over 130 games lined up, it promises to be a good year indeed. The scheduled speedruns vary drastically in genre and style: every gamer can find something to tune in to. From retro classics like Mega Man, to classic CRPGs like Fallout and modern shooters like DOOM (2016) it's staggering to see the variety of games being blasted through at an awe-inspiring speed.
Over these ten years, the event has rapidly grown and become a beloved part of the gaming industry's calendar. Last year's AGDQ reached a peak of almost 220,000 concurrent Twitch viewers and 2,200 live attendees, raising $2.39 million for charity. This year's event has been sponsored by an impressive number of companies including: PlayStation, Annapurna Interactive,Team Meat, NIS America, World 9 Gaming and Red Bull to name a few.
Make sure to tune in when Awesome Games Done Quick starts on Sunday.