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Charity event focus: Games Done Quick

Games Done Quick is a bi-annual video game event designed to showcase speedrunning skills on a range of popular video games while also raising money for different charities. As video game streaming has become an ever more popular form of entertainment for many people around the world, this event has harnessed the enthusiasm for the medium and capitalised on it for charitable causes. In 7 years, the event has managed to raise over 14 million dollars for various causes and it’s showing no sign of slowing down.

Games Done Quick is a charity event located bi annually in Bloomington, Minnesota during the summer and in Virginia in the winter.  The event demonstrates high-precision, high-speed gameplay where speedrunners try to complete classic and difficult video games in the fastest possible time. In some cases, these are attempts to break world records, while in others they’re simply demonstrations of skill in completing infamously difficult games seamlessly. To some, this might not sound like something which is likely to make the world a better place, but, according to the GDQ home page, the event remains the highest fundraising event in the world for both Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Last year, during its summer event, it reportedly raised over 2 million dollars for cancer prevention.

Games Done Quick events are streamed live on online platforms like Twitch and Youtube.

This is a highly competitive event to even be a part of. Submissions are taken very seriously, with potential speedrunners having to submit a video featuring their runtime of the game they hope to complete at the real event. The games have to make for an entertaining speedrun, as the event relies on the donations of viewers for its fundraising. Potential runners also have to choose games which are considered to be reliable, something which they can complete using tried and true methods, rather than an unpredictable barrage of enemies or obstacles. The events are open to audiences around the world via online streaming but also feature in-house crowds to accompany every success with a sudden cheer and every miss with a pained groan. Participants and contributors also often offer goods for a raffle which is entered into with donations during specific events.

Popular professional video game streamers like GrandPooBear often give up their time to participate in and promote the GDQ charity events.

The winter event, Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) took place in January in Virginia, but the summer version, Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) isn’t until June, and there’s still time for hopeful attendees to register until March 10th. Whether you’re a fan of classic video games, or you enjoy seeing someone playing with intense skill, or whether you just feel like contributing to some worthy causes, GDQ is a great event, full of passionate people using entertainment to make a difference.

Ronan Daly

Ronan Daly is a staff writer for My Good Planet who specialises in Technology and Science. With a Masters Degree in English, and over a decade's experience as a teacher and writer, Ronan has brought a breezy, learned style to My Good Planet, making occasionally complex material accessible and understandable to all.