Record $1.7 Million for Charity Speedrunning

  • Cedric Brenninkmeijer
  • July 10, 2017
  • 0

During the seventh Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) Speedrunning marathon event, the charity was able to raise nearly $1.78 million from just over 30,000 people. This year’s charity donation reaches a new record high from last year, continuing an ever-growing annual trend. The money raised will be donated to ‘Doctors Without Borders’ charity.

Two speedrunning marathon events are held every year, with the event being the Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) occurring in January. Both events are one week long, and see 100,000 concurrent viewers watching the event online and donating millions of dollars to charity. Games Done Quick is easily the largest speedrunning event, drawing runners from around the globe. The speedrun event lasts seven days with no breaks, meaning that it is in the player’s best interests to complete the required total of 132 games as fast as possible.

The event gathers hundreds of players together in a hotel conference room to play their favorite games at incredible speeds. The crowd these events draw is full of enthusiasts who watch the players play these games, usually matching the number of players playing or more. Often it is not enough to just finish the games with the fastest time possible, and players are challenged by those giving donations to complete the games with added difficulties. Speedrunner Halfcoordinated raised $2,740 by completing NieR: Automata while holding an Emil plushie in one hand.

The total donations for this year’s event come in part from direct donations that the players receive while playing the games, and in part due to partner donations from activities including but not limited to T-shirt sales and the Humble Bundle, which donates 100 percent of new monthly subscriptions, automatically entering new subscribers as donating towards the event charity. This year’s donations were 35 percent higher than the previous year, suggesting that speedrunning events are growing and becoming more popular, both as a charity event as well as a bi-annual gaming event.

Following the established trend, SGDQ accumulated donations were less than AGDQ, with this year’s AGDQ making $2.2 million in donations in the same amount of time. One suspected reason for why the AGDQ tends to be more popular is that it occurs during the holiday, making it more accessible by those who work during the SGDQ. Despite making less, the SGDQ was a major success and reinforces the input and support for the speedrunning gamer community.

For SGDQ, the highest single donation made during the event amounted to $20,300, and a total of 139 speed runs were held, meaning that players were able to accomplish more than the required total of 132. This goes to show how passionate the gamers are about these games, as they not only want to beat their individual games in the fastest time possible but in doing so try to complete more games. Some gaming categories included just single speedruns of players trying to beat the game, such as the already mentioned NieR: Automata and Final Fantasy VII, while in some other categories races were held as players tried to be the first to complete titles including Tetris: The Grand Master amongst other titles.

The SGDQ has progressed significantly since its inception seven years ago, where the first event raised $21,397, but there are passionate people whose ambition is for the event to generate more money to donate to the ‘Doctors Without Borders’ charity. Nevertheless, the SGDQ 2017 has been a massive undertaking and has the makings of a cultural touchstone for many in the gaming community. One tradition is for the event to begin and end with a new and old-fan favorite, which helps chapter the climate and feelings of the gaming community.

Since the events for 2017 have already concluded, fans already are waiting on the next AGDQ with baited breath in 2018. Thankfully, the dates have already been announced for next year, with the next Games Done Quick event occurring from January 7-14.

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The environments I populate most are: reading all kinds of literature late into the night by a dim light, out of touch with the world while submersed in music, dragged along by a lovable puppy that gets away with murder, succumbing to the exceptional experiences of food and friendship, and delving deep into fantastical settings of games both board and video.