Each year, gaming enthusiasts from around the world congregate at Games Done Quick (GDQ) and the European Spreedrunner Assembly (ESA) to compete at the highest level of marathon speedrunning—and this year was no different.
In partnership with ViewSonic, the globally watched events, GDQ and ESA, once again reeled in a ton of viewership and millions of dollars for charities as gamers performed speedruns of their favorite video games.
But what exactly is speedrunning?
In the simplest of terms, speedrunning is a race against the clock—meaning that gamers attempt to complete a video game, or section of a video game, as fast as they can.
You can find more information on speedrunning here.
Depending on the game, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to many, MANY hours.
For example, during one of the first major speedrunning marathons, a group of gamers called TheSpeedGamers raced to complete all major Zelda games, spanning a total of 72 hours!
On the other hand, a speedrunning fan favorite is Super Mario Bros. on the NES, which can be completed from the opening scene to the final credits in a mere 5 minutes.
But speedrunning isn’t just about playing games fast, it’s also about raising money for charities. That’s where organizations like GDQ and ESA come in to play. Year after year these organizations have raised thousands (and sometimes millions!) of dollars for charities.
Founded in 2012, ESA is Europe’s largest speedrunning convention and throughout the year's gamers have helped raise over €500,000 ($600,000).
This summer brought with it yet another ESA speedrunning event. This time, 400 gamers, and millions of online viewers raised money for Save the Children International. Gamers played new and old games, on almost every console imaginable.
They even held challenges to spice up the competition. One challenge, in particular, was the F-Zero Cheeseburger Contest, where contestants battled it out on the most difficult level of the racing game, F-Zero, for a chance at winning—you guessed it—a cheeseburger.
The event took place from July 20th-29th and gained international viewership using twitch.tv. Donations to the charity were made on their website https://donations.esamarathon.com/events/
A hop, skip, and a jump away, in The United States, GDQ made an impact on gaming for charity this year as well.
Since their first event in 2012, GDQ has raised over $16.5 Million dollars over the course of 19 marathons. This summer, the Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) raised a whopping amount of $2.2 million dollars for Doctor Without Borders. The impressive amount set a new SGDQ record for money raised.
Donations came from 43,368 donors who viewed the gaming in person, from GDQ’s YouTube channel, or twitch.tv.
This year’s SGDQ event, gamers also achieved greatness in the record books—three world records were set for speedruns of the games Burnout Paradise (2008), Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (1988), and Superman 64 (1999).
The next GDQ event will take place October 26-28th, 2018.