Twice a year I piss off my family and takeover the main TV with Twitch for Games Done Quick. I have it running while I work. It’s on the living room TV until I go to bed. My kids, who love playing video games, revolt every time I claim the remote. Sorry kids, I know it’s not DanTDM or whoever your current fave streamer is, but this entire event is some of the best streaming the gaming community has to offer. In fact, Games Done Quick is one of the best things going on in the entire gaming industry.
For those who don’t know, Games Done Quick is a charity event where speedrunners come together and show off their mad skills to raise money. There are two events, Awesome Games Done Quick in January and Summer Games Done Quick in July. Watching the event is free on Twitch, so to raise money, the speedrunners offer certain incentives if a certain dollar amount is raised.
For example, a bonus game of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! was up for donations on January 7, 2020. If people raise a certain amount of money for bonus games—donors can donate toward a specific incentive or prize pools—then the game will be added to the schedule. Why donate for this bonus run? It's a 2-player run where both runners will share one controller. Oh, and they will be blindfolded. I have to watch this. A few GDQs ago, I watched a Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! two-player blindfolded race, and that was amazing in of itself. I can’t imagine two people sharing one controller while blindfolded. These people have mad skills I’ll never have.
That’s part of why the event is so amazing to watch—to see these speedrunners show off all their tricks and skills on how they run through games so quickly. I’m always so intrigued because I’ll never be this good at any game (and I’m okay with that).
They’re also so open about their tricks. While running, they’ll explain what they’re doing, how future runners can pull it off, and pay tribute to who first discovered the trick. The speedrunning community is perhaps the friendliest gaming community out there. They’re so inviting to newcomers and willing to teach their secrets instead of hoarding them jealously.
And to top it all off, these week-long events are all for charity. Awesome Games Done Quick donations go to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, whereas the Summer Games Done Quick donates to Doctors Without Borders. Both are amazing causes, and ever since I started watching this event, GDQ raises at least one million dollars for the respective charity.
The donors aren’t just gamers either. Many times, developers and publishers will donate large chunks of cash during a run of one of their games or shortly after. On January 6, 2020, a runner sped through Outer Worlds in less than 25 minutes. At the end of the run, Obsidian donated $3,000 and thanked the runner for showing off his tricks. Now we’ll see if they go back into patch them out, which many devs jokingly joke about doing.
Retailers, such as The Yetee, also drop large amounts of dough throughout the week. They often hold special GDQ sales for special items as well to drum up more excitement as well as business.
GDQ is a time where for one week, everyone comes together in the name of gaming: gamers, speedrunners, fans, retailers, and gaming companies. Everyone is there to support one another, cheer on the runners, invite others to their communities, and donate money for incredible charities. For one week, it’s all sunshine and rainbows, which is good for everyone who is a part of gaming.
Forget Christmas; Games Done Quick is the most wonderful time of the year.