It’s finally January and you know what that means: It’s time for another AGDQ! By November I cannot wait for January to hit so I can pull up a chair, grab some snacks, and watch some video games.
What is AGDQ?
Awesome Games Done Quick, or AGDQ, is a charity marathon put on by the folks at Speed Demos Archive in conjunction with Speed Runs Live. 160 hours of speed running for charity.
It is a seven daylong event where dozens of speed gamers gather in one place and jump, shoot, slide, and race their way through Classic and Modern games alike to raise money for various charities. AGDQ typically donates to the Prevent Cancer Foundation while its sister marathon held in July, Summer Games Done Quick, donates to the famous Doctors Without Borders.
Sounds cool. When and how is this all going down?
ADDQ this year runs from Noon on January 5th until midnight on January 11th. That’s about 160 hours of gaming. Last year 140 speedrunners from across the United States gathered at the National 4-H Center in Washington D.C. and put on an incredible show. Personalities big and small from the SDA and SRL communities attended, running some of their favorite games alongside fun and informative commentary while they read off donation comments.
What is Speedrunning?
Speedrunning is simply attempting to beat a game as fast as possible, sometimes with various restrictions, separated by category. Previously, runners would be very secretive about their practicing, hiding their tricks until they get that fabled world record. Nowadays the community is very open and collaborative, supporting each other and frequently streaming their world record attempts. The large majority of Speedrunners can be found on Speed Runs Live, a website that tracks runners, viewer counts, and what games they’re currently playing. People of all skill levels can get involved and show love for their favorite games by steaming themselves or by watching and/or donating to other streamers. For breakdown of all current world records, visit Speed Demos Archive. Together these two groups have raised over $1,000,000 in the last four years with their various donation marathons.
Ok, you have my attention. Tell me more about what I’m donating for.
100% of all donations are given to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that saves lives through cancer research, education, and community outreach. If that isn’t hype enough to get the money out of your wallet, wait until you hear about all of the donation incentives and raffles.
Throughout the marathon, you can put your donations toward various donation incentives. These include everything from running bonus games, different categories of games (100% vs any%), naming characters, and a bunch of other silly things. Some are bid wars while others ‘unlock’ things once the goal is met.
One such bid war from last year’s marathon was between saving or killing the animals during the final escape in Super Metroid. This donation incentive alone raised $11,092.93. In addition to Donation incentives, donating during certain times can also put you into the drawing for various prizes. During the Zelda block last year you could win a replica Hylian Shield made out of metal and during GoldenEye 007 you could win an N64 with four controllers. There were plenty of others as well.
OMFG I WANT TO SEE THIS NOW!
You can catch all of the action at http://gamesdonequick.com. It’ll also be on www.twitch.tv/speeddemosarchiveSDA. Up until and during the marathon itself you can check the schedule at http://gamesdonequick.com/schedule. Donation incentives will eventually be listed here as well. The schedule is tight, but that’s not all there is to this event. In addition, there has always been a bonus stream after AGDQ that will continue for several days after the main stream where donations still accrue. This secondary marathon is more laid back and off the cuff. One of my favorite things to look forward to during the AGDQ bonus stream is the 4-player Mario Party 2 money match.
I hope my readers will join me in watching this amazing marathon. Even if you don’t have the cash to donate, your viewership is a great way to show your support and I highly recommend tuning in. If the last couple years are any indication, this one will be a blast!
See The Classic Gamer’s very own GtVSlayer making a Super Mario World Speed Run!