The Summer Games Done Quick 2017 live marathon kicked off yesterday. Now in its fifth year, SGDQ features some of the best video game speedrunners in the world racing through your favorite (and suffering through your not-so-favorite) games to raise money for charity. Specifically, gamers are raising funds for Doctors Without Borders, an organization dedicated to bringing medical aid to anyone impacted by war, disaster, and epidemic.
Each year at SGDQ (and at its sister event, Awesome Games Done Quick, earlier in the year), games are played and broken in fun and interesting ways, providing hours upon hours of entertainment. Players provide commentary during their runs, filling the uninitiated in on their tactics, which is particularly useful for those unfamiliar with speedrunning. But even veterans can expect to learn a new trick or two.
Viewers make donations online at www.gamesdonequick.com to encourage and support their favorite speedrunners, or they can vote with their dollars to influence how a game ends up being played — for example, requiring the speedrunner to perform additional tasks in the game beyond simply completing it as quickly as possible, or influencing the main character’s name or outfit.
The lineup of games this year looks excellent. Some notable titles being tackled today include classics like Sonic CD, Crash Bandicoot, and Donkey Kong 64, as well as newer games such as Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. The event ends Saturday night with a playthrough of Super NES role-playing game (and SNES Classic Edition inclusion) Earthbound. Check out the full schedule here.
Events like SGDQ showcase the dedication the gaming community has to doing the right thing, and it serves as a nice counterpoint to the cultural conversation suggesting games are frivolous at best, or lead to violent behavior at worst. Last year, SGDQ raised $1.3 million for Doctors Without Borders. This year, so far, over $140,000 has been raised. SGDQ 2017 is off to a great (and fast) start.