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Games Done Quick has raised more than $40 million. Its latest speedrunning event was one of its biggest.

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The speedrunning genre is populated by gamers who can play through 100-hour adventures in a few minutes. As it turns out, those speedsters are also capable of raising money at a rapid rate.

The latest installment of Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) just wrapped up, and it was one of the biggest events in Games Done Quick (GDQ) history. Across a week of speedruns, gamers and their fans contributed more than $3 million to support Doctors Without Borders. In total, GDQ has raised more than $40 million across 12 years of in-person and online gatherings.

Like many other IRL events, SGDQ reassumed its usual format in 2022. In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated digital-only proceedings for the mid-year tradition. The speedrunning community celebrated its return to in-person entertainment in memorable fashion. The $3.01 million sum raised during the seven-day event is the fourth-highest in GDQ history.

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The 2022 edition of Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ), which went live this past January, holds the organization’s record for the highest fundraising total. That gaming gala collected $3.4 million to support the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Since two of GDQ’s $3 million weeks occurred this year, it’s not hyperbolic to suggest that speedrunning’s popularity is peaking right now.

In exchange for their contributions, SGDQ attendees and viewers can alter the course of runs or adjust the names and physical features of player characters. Even though the featured gamers must accept the conditions dictated by these donations, they are still able to register completion times that boggle the mind. I’m particularly impressed that HYP3RSOMNIAC managed to beat Elden Ring — a game noted for its length and difficulty — in less than 34 minutes.

Though SGDQ came back to Bloomington, MN this year (it has convened in the Twin Cities area since 2015), it reached a large audience online. All of the runs from the event are available on the GDQ YouTube channel, and the associated Twitch coverage earned big viewership as well. One speedrunning stream picked up nearly four million views over the course of the event.

Now that SGDQ has wrapped up, it’s time for the next event on the GDQ calendar: Flame Fatales. The showcase of female speedrunning talent is now in its second year, and it is expected to go live on August 21. Don’t expect the generosity of this proud community to dry up anytime soon: Last year, Flame Fatales brought in more than $126,000 to support the Malala Fund.

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