ByMichael Mitchell, writer at Creators.co
Gamer, writer, occasional pedant. Mitch lives up to all these adjectives and more by writing for Now Loading and Blizzard Watch. @Fizzl_CTR.
Michael Mitchell

Do you love watching speed runs? Raising money for good causes? Having an excuse to leave Twitch on for the good portion of an entire week? All three? Then Games Done Quick is something you should be watching!

What Is Games Done Quick?

Image via www.pcmag.com
Image via www.pcmag.com

Originally started in 2010 as "Classic Games Done Quick," every year following has had both Awesome Games Done Quick (in the winter) and Summer Games Done Quick (in the summer...obviously).

As the names imply, these events are all about people beating video games quickly. For 7 days straight, players will complete video games using a variety of speedrunning tactics. In some cases, these are done using glitches, in other cases, they're done glitch-free — and occasionally, they're done with some sort of twist that really ramps up the intensity.

The entire time these games are being run, donations are given to a certain charity. Typically, AGDQ supports The Cancer Foundation while SGDQ supports Doctors Without Borders. In many cases, there are varying incentives for donating — sometimes there are huge prizes like a #PS4 and 10 games, other times it's something like having a character named by you.

The incentives are nice, but really, the heart of the event is simple: People coming together to play video games for a good cause.

Is It Really Exciting To Watch That?

'Mario 64' speedrun competition
'Mario 64' speedrun competition

I'll fully admit some games wind up being more entertaining to watch than others — but that's kind of what makes GDQ so great. You don't need to watch 7 days in a row, but if there's a game you have a fondness for, or you just want to keep it on in the background and listen to what's happening, you can.

But more importantly, it's amazing to see what playing video games can do to support a good cause. For several years in a row now, GDQ has raised more than a million dollars at both its summer and winter events — all toward foundations like the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders.

Especially toward the end of the event when speedrunners are showcasing some of the weirdest glitches, speedrunners are competing against one another, and donations are coming in quickly, it's almost impossible not to get caught up in the spirit of the event. Again, some moments may interest you more than others, but if you've ever been to a sporting event where your team was down and suddenly managed to make a huge comeback, well, GDQ can often feel a lot like that.

Not To Mention, You Learn Some Cool Secrets About Your Favorite Games

This is another one that might vary from person to person, but it's one of my favorites. As speedrunners are doin' their thing, they'll often explain what they're doing — but what they're doing is pretty damn interesting. There's a lot more to speedrunning than simply playing a game quickly.

For instance, did you know that in Pokémon Emerald, where the first NPC spawns is RNG-based, and that that RNG favors the female character slightly? Or that you can use a well-time sword swipe in Ocarina of Time to skip ahead in certain dungeons? Or how about the fact that certain jumps in Super Monkey Ball Adventure can shave 0.2 seconds off your run?

Yes, it's all random, niche information you may not use in your own gaming sessions. But the way the speedrunners commentate on their own runs is fascinating if you're the kind of person who likes to understand the inner workings of your favorite games.

Games Done Quick broadcasts on their Twitch channel, and if you're interested in a full schedule, their website has you covered. This year's event runs from now until the late-night hours of Saturday, January 14th.

Have you watched any of the Games Done Quick events? If this is your first time watching, are you enjoying it?