Why Games Done Quick appeals to the gamer in all of us

Games Done Quick (GDQ) is a bi-annual speedrunning event that supports the Prevent Cancer Foundation at the beginning of the year and Doctors Without Borders during the summer. What started out as a small group packed into a room and on a makeshift couch has escalated into a beloved global event. People from all over the world come to a pre-specified location for a full week of non-stop gaming, showing off the best tips and tricks for running through a game as quickly as possible.

GDQ is a happy place, a therapy of sorts, an inspirational ode to why I wanted to dive into a career as volatile and intense as video games. Click To Tweet

Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) saw over two million dollars raised for cancer research, and the current Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) is well on its way to hitting the one million dollar mark. Not to mention, it pulls in viewers in excess of one hundred thousand daily on Twitch. The popularity of GDQ proves something quite special – comradery and positive gaming groups and very much alive and well. Single player.co-op games, especially classic ones, continue to hold a special place in gamers’ hearts. And retro gaming is definitely not going away any time soon.

The popularity of GDQ proves something quite special - comradery and positive gaming groups and very much alive and well Click To Tweet

While there is a competitive aspect to the event, in the form of speedrun races through certain games, there is a grassroots feel to it that you’d be hard pressed to experience in e-sports or online gaming. Personally, watching this event yearly is a reminder that you don’t need to be a Fornite or Call of Duty player to make an impact, be it online or offline.  

GDQ is one of those rare moments when the gaming community comes together to have a great time. No one is anticipating nor are there letdowns on anticipated releases and people are not debating who is better at something. To me, this event is exactly the nostalgia we all need, a reminder of what we loved and love about gaming. I believe this sense of togetherness is what keeps people coming back to the live stream, what keeps attendance high, and what keeps donations flowing.

I believe this sense of togetherness is what keeps people coming back to the live stream, what keeps attendance high, and what keeps donations flowing. Click To Tweet

Watching the speed run of Ninja Gaiden for XBOX immediately made me feel to fire up my original system. The Contra Shattered Soldier run conjured memories of growing up, logging endless hours across the series with my friends and family. And, there are the unforgettable personalities like Covert Muffin, people who truly exude the passion that I’m sure we’ve all felt as gamers.

I always write about my love of games that are less competitive in nature and more leisurely to play. Games are my way to unwind, and disappear into worlds we can sometimes only dream about. My experience in the industry has been mostly focused on competitive games, and as enjoyable as it was, it was also very demanding. GDQ is a happy place, a therapy of sorts, an inspirational ode to why I wanted to dive into a career as volatile and intense as video games. I would imagine as a developer that there is at least one game on SGDQ’s roster that makes you smile.

A break from building games to playing games; that’s GDQ to me.

Twitter: @_shivadee

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