By Grant Stoner | Staff Writer
Last Sunday, the bi-annual charity Awesome Games Done Quick finished with a rousing success, raising over $2 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Aside from completing various games in record times, the organization also surpassed a new milestone by receiving more than $1 million worth of donations in a single day.
Originating in 2010, under the title of Classic Games Done Quick, various developers and players alike provide commentary for a live audience as they quickly beat lengthy games. Dubbed as “speedrunning,” players utilize glitches, exploits and, of course, speed, to reach the end of games such as “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” “Dark Souls” and even “Undertale.” Streaming services including Twitch and Youtube highlight the events, allowing viewers to make monetary contributions, as well as watch some of their favorite streamers breeze through games.
Throughout the seven-day event, approximately 200 speedruns were performed, with highlights including an under two-hour cooperative run of “Borderlands 2” by runners Shockwve and Amyrlinn, a 16 minute and 54 seconds pacifist playthrough of “Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos” by Gusmancini and a 24 minute session of “Fallout: New Vegas” by Progamingwithed. Yet, the excitement culminated on the last day, when AGDQ broke records.
According to a report from Kotaku, AGDQ raised an estimated amount of over $1 million within a 12-hour period. In fact, viewers began to overflow the payment site with so many donations that the servers temporarily crashed.
The Kotaku article attributed the large peak of donations to a contest established by developer Bandai Namco. According to the rules, contributors were required to donate a minimum of $125 in order to be considered for a chance to win a Bandai Namco prize pack, worth approximately $2500. Various games, limited-edition collectibles as well as a PS4 Pro were offered to contestants, creating a large incentive for donations.
In conjunction with the thrill of eclipsing $2 million, the AGDQ charity experienced technical difficulties during a speedrun of “Dark Souls III.” According to an article by PCGamesN, streamer BubblesDelFuego encountered numerous problems when attempting to complete the game. At first, the streamer was unable to effectively receive a spell crucial for speedruns within a suitable amount of time, costing precious minutes. To further mar the experience, “Dark Souls III” crashed during the event, forcing technicians to search for a pre-existing save file within Windows. After retrieving his character, BubblesDelFuego managed to successfully finish the title with a run time of 58 minutes and 50 seconds.
Following the “Dark Souls III” stream, indie game “Undertale” took center stage, where streamer TGH completed a pacifist playthrough in 1 hour, 28 minutes and 27 seconds. To show his support, creator of “Undertale,” Toby Fox, even donated $10,000 throughout the segment.
As it currently stands, speedrunning has a small niche within the gaming community. However, with over $2 million raised for charity, speedrunning may become more popular, thus granting a larger stage to gamers who have the capability to utilize their skills for a noble cause.