At the beginning of each year, the Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) team embark on a week-long marathon that brings Twitch’s finest speedrunners together to not only entertain viewers but to raise money for charity.
AGDQ 2016 concluded on January 10th , and raised a grand total of $1.2 million in viewer donations. All proceeds are to benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation – announced via Twitter.
More than 150 amazing speedruns took place at this year’s AGDQ, with nearly 24,000 people donating to the cause. This year’s Awesome Games Done Quick schedule can be found here.
However, this year’s tally fell slightly short of the event’s all-time high record of $1.57 million raised at AGDQ 2015.
Note: AGDQ organisers have left donations open for those who missed out on the event, and if anyone wishes to donate, can do so here.
For the unfamiliar, speedrunners are a community of devoted gamers who attempt to complete a particular game in the fastest time possible. Players dedicate days, weeks, even months discovering new ways to break our beloved video games.
The speedrunner lifestyle is one of hard-resets, frustration, jubilation, and spending most of your time in ‘out-of-bounds’, but it is all worth it once you achieve the elusive ‘World Record’ (WR).
Moreover, there were a number of mind-blowing world records runs throughout the course of this year’s AGDQ, one of which (below) involved “two players one controller” speedrun of Super Metroid. Speedrunners Sweetnumb and Oatsngoats shared a single controller in a co-op run of the iconic single-player game. You can watch more replays of the epic event at the Awesome Games Done Quick YouTube channel.
Viewer traffic for this year’s stream was averaging around 100,000 throughout the week. The marathon peaked over 220,000 viewers for the first AGDQ run of Super Mario Maker. Two teams competed in a head-to-head relay through a collection of expertly crafted stages, which resulted in one of the most ridiculous gaming displays you will see on the internet.
Initially, the speedrunning craze stemmed from a site called ‘Speed Demos Archive’ (SDA), which began as a demo archive for Quake play-throughs. SDA was formed by Nolan “Radix” Pflug, by merging with a site created by Gunnar and Jesse in April 1998. Following Radix’s successful 100 per cent speedrun of Metroid Prime, he expanded SDA to include a vast catalog of games.
In January 2010, SDA began working alongside charities and Games Done Quick was born. SDA decided to represent Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) for the original Classic Games Done Quick. The marathon was an incredible success, raising over $10,000 for CARE – setting the foundations for what would become one of the most anticipated gaming events of the year.
At the beginning of 2011, SDA turned Game Done Quick into a bi-annual event: Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) in January, and Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) in July. Each subsequent marathon has become substantially more successful than its last iteration, with AGDQ 2014 and AGDQ 2015 raising a cumulative $2.5 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Since then, both Awesome and Summer Games Done Quick have generated more than $6 million for charity.
(Excluding AGDQ 2016 via GameInfromer)
Viewers of the marathon do much more than simply watch their favourite speedrunners. In an effort to entice donations, organisers create incentives and challenges, providing viewers with the chance to win the extravagant prizes donated by the event’s sponsors, such as The Yetee and Humble Bundle.
The event’s ever growing success and popularity has not gone unnoticed, with major game publishers contributing to the online phenomenon.
Previously, Sony hosted a special God of War inspired Games Done Quick marathon in March 2015, teaming up alongside The AbleGamers Foundation to celebrate Kratos’ 10th anniversary. The mini-marathon was held at Santa Monica Studios, the home of the god slaying protagonist.
The Kinda Funny team hosted the event, interviewing the developers as the runners showcased their remarkable gaming abilities. All parties involved raised a respectable $3,500 for charity over the eight hours of broadcasting.