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Speedrunning Charity Events: A Step Forward for Gaming

For the longest time, video games were associated with the stigma of being for loners who’d rather sit at home by themselves and avoid interacting with society. The lack of exercise and poor dieting habits didn’t help either.

While some gamers may act like this, an event that has been taking place since the 2010s is proving otherwise on top of showing the generous nature of the gaming community to the public.

Depending on the year or season, this event goes by two names: ADGQ/Awesome Games Done Quick and SDGQ/ Summer Games Done Quick, but in this article, we’ll refer to both as AGDQ to avoid giving ourselves a headache.

Although many gamers have taken up the challenge of speedrunning, streamers are usually the ones donating their tips to charitable causes minus the bragging rights. That said, ADGQ is certainly an exception to the rule.

What defines Speedrunning in a game?

For those who haven’t heard, AGDQ is a speedrunning charity currently held in the United States. A question that may pop up when someone talks about this event is, “What the heck is speedrunning?”.

Generally speaking, a speedrun is a play through of a game where players will try to complete it as fast as possible using a combination of their own skills, funny glitches, unpatched exploits, sequence breakers–or simply by following specific routes designed for the game.

A sequence breaker is a great way to skip parts of a game by performing a bunch of button combinations or finding areas in games that might not have the right kind of collision settings, thus allowing the character to exit the boundaries of the game, where a wall would normally exist.

What are the standards for speedrunning?

There are at least two categories in speedrunning worth noting: Any% and 100%. However, many games can have four to five different categories, such as becoming a Pokémon champion or beating Resident Evil in under three hours.

Any% is the more lenient of the two conditions, usually requiring only the player to reach the end of the game in one piece, without having to collect achievements.

100% requires the player to gather every single collectible, complete all hidden challenges, and score the highest rank possible on each level, as specified by the game.

Of course, there is much more to speedrunning than that, but this is all you need to understand the basics of holding the fastest records.

Who runs the AGDQ marathons?

We can dig a bit deeper into AGDQ which has speedrunners from all over the world submit their runs online–a few months before the event and assign them each to a different time slot.

Then, the runners meet up at the event and speedrun the games they have submitted to play. This event goes on for 24 hours per day, spanning seven days and is hosted bi-annually.

The charity event is broadcast live to Twitch.tv, a popular streaming service, and interacts with viewers through fun giveaways, offering donations incentives such as rescuing the animals in the game, Metroid, and reading their donation messages on stream.

AGDQ collects donations from their stream and gives that money to the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Another example would be Doctors Without Borders. As of writing this, AGDQ has donated a whopping $6,691,610.91 to the PCF and nearly $10,000,000 in total!

AGDQ’s Donations to Nonprofits

One such event hosted from January 8th, 2017 to January 15th, 2017 managed to raise over $2,217,568 and had a peak viewership of 250,481, both of which are record highs given their history.

Games Done Quick’s next event is set to take place on July 4th, 2021 – July 11th, 2021, and will be online due to the pandemic, expected to improve upon this year’s.

While AGDQ is the only speedrunning charity mentioned in full detail, there are many other respectable gaming communities doing the same. It’s actually amazing how video games can bring people together for a charity fund.

On a final note, imagine Sanic the Hedgehog with the “Gotta Go Fast!” song playing in the background. That is literally the epitome of speedrunning, assuming you have a timer on the side.

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