People of the Week: Everyone Involved With #SGDQ2019
$2.2 million in one week. That is the average amount raised by some dedicated video game experts at their past 4 @GamesDoneQuick events, and their next one is about to begin on June 23. This community of gamers are known “speedrunners,” or runners for short. Simply put, they beat video games (and raise money) as fast as they can.
Twice a year, many of them gather and have a 7-day, 24 hour livestream, of runners breaking apart and flying through a variety of games across many genres. In Winter, the event is titled “Awesome Games Done Quick,” and later in the year they host “Summer Games Done Quick,” commonly known as AGDQ and SGDQ.
Platforming (think Super Mario Odyssey), RPGs, first-person shooter, racing, and sometimes indescribable games are played by a featured runner. Often with some fellow experts nearby who help describe what the f#$% is going on, or why “Link just fell through a corner in the wall but it’s ok because it saved an hour.”
During this stream, people from all over the world donate money that goes to charities, such as Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), and Prevent Cancer Foundation. Donations range from $5 to $10,000 and come from individuals, game developers, and other generous sources. Messages attached to donations are often read on-stream and help encourage the feeling of community among those at the event as well as those watching from home.
This sense of belonging while congregating around the gameplay is ever present amongst speedrunners. During the rest of the year, many runners have their own twitch streams. When describing what the coming strategy is, or what’s happening in the game, runners usually use “we” instead of “I.”
“We’re going to skip this boss fight. Now we’re gonna shoot the ground to gain extra height during this jump to avoid this section entirely.”
When a runner does amazing things, or has a rough patch, support is always there, either with words in the chat or via subscriptions to their channel, as other small donations.
Runners share all the information they obtain about game strategies and techniques. They don’t hide new skips or glitches in order to gain an advantage in landing a world record. This communal sharing of knowledge helps the communities around individual games stay fortified by helping games get mind-blowingly broken. It’s dynamic, and a thrill for both novice and hardcore gaming fans. What would take an average player around 40 hours to beat can be finished in under an hour. Gotta go fast.
Sometimes with just one hand.
Since it’s first iteration in 2010 (known then as Classic Games Done Quick) which was streamed from Mike Uyama’s parent’s basement and raised $10,500, to AGDQ 2019, these events have collectively raised over $19 million for various charities. All of this simply by playing video games really, really fast.
Peep the schedule here to see what games will be played so you can watch your favorite games get annihilated in record time. The even is streamed here, from June 23 – 30, 2019, and games are played live 24/7. So tune in when you can to see some of the madness, and all of the love.
Here’s a few runs that are a good entry point into speedrunning, and if you have some favorite runs, post them in the comments!