Since July 2nd, speed runners from all over the world have been playing their favorite games in the name of charity. For 7 days straight, Summer Games Done Quick 2017 has been streaming their marathon event on Twitch. As runners blazed through each game, viewers donated their hard-earned cash towards Doctors Without Borders, a charity aimed at providing medical aid to those in need.
Games Done Quick runs two events a year, one during the winter months, another during the summer. During this year’s Awesome Games Done Quick, viewers and affiliates generously donated 2.2 million towards the Prevent Cancer Foundation. As the nearly 5 hour speed run of Earthbound wrapped up, the crew and event planners gathered around to announce the total. With the donation ticker slowly rising even as they stopped the stream, the final total ended up at $1,760,360.
Look How Far We’ve Come
Each year, Games Done Quick events gain more and more viewers. Every time the event runs, it consistently tops the Twitch charts. This year, I personally saw more than 100,000 viewers consistently. Considering the event spans a whole week and the stream never stops (except for technological reasons), the staggering amount of viewers is always surprising to me. Since the event is so popular, it often draws in new viewers. Many newcomers aren’t aware of the concept of a “speed run”, and are immediately enthralled by the excitement.
As Twitch grows as a platform for gamers to connect and the speed run community expands, Games Done Quick gains more and more traction. The first event to be run under the “Games Done Quick” moniker was Awesome Games Done Quick in January of 2011. The event was small and contained, seemingly being run out of someone’s house. The original AGDQ managed to raise over $50,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, no small feat considering the size of the event at the time.
Since then, Games Done Quick has become a full blown affair. The event has moved to hotel, each time in a new city. There, thousands of runners and attendees enjoy countless tournaments, arcade games, events, and of course, speed runs. It’s truly become a convention of sorts, and many people look forward to Games Done Quick much like a holiday.
As a collection of events, Games Done Quick has raised over 12 million for charity. These marathons are a true testament to the power of the gaming industry, and the generosity of its fans. I couldn’t be prouder of an event I support, or of the great heart of those who donated.