People play video games for fun, enjoyment, escapism and when a new game comes out you are in a race with your friends to see who can complete the game first and be the best, Speed Running takes this concept to a whole new level. The premise of Speed Running is to play-through of a video game performed with the intent of completing a goal as fast as possible.
The Speed Running community over at Speed Runs Live is ever growing and has a healthy viewership on Twitch, as I look there are over forty channels speed running a game, ranging from Mario Kart 64 150cc, to a kill all the bosses run of Dark Souls, to someone going for 100% completion of Ocarina of Time.
The premise of Speed Running is to complete the game as fast as possible without using cheats. This can also be done in 3 different ways, complete the game as you normally would (Any %), complete the game collecting everything (a 100% finish) or somehow finding glitches / skips which enable you to miss out loads of the game (Low %). You can speed run virtually any game, as long as it as an end screen / final boss type thing so you know exactly when you have finished it.
Games Done Quick is basically a bunch of guys and gals Speed Running video games for fun, but this time a purpose. They come together twice per year for Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick for a Speed Running video game marathon, to play games to the highest level possible and all for charity.
All money that they have received from the gaming marathons have all been donations from the viewers and these arrive in a couple of different forms. You can just donate just for donating’s sake, or where a lot of the money comes from is people donating towards specific goals or targets, i.e. the highest bidder towards naming the game save for Zelda can call it what they want, or if we reach $X, then they will play the game blindfolded.
GDQ’s gaming marathons started in January 2010 when they started their first charity marathon, Classic Games Done Quick. This was to last for a couple of days and they managed to reach from donations over $10,000, since then they have gone from strength to strength raising nearly $2 Million for different charities in 4 years, with last year being the most successful ever…and by a very, very long way.
AGDQ 2014 was to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and it had now gone from lasting a couple of days to a whole week plus bonus streaming for a couple of days later, so roughly 10 days of constant non-stop live streaming on Twitch of video games…sounds like a perfect week to many people, myself included.
Over the seven days we had many world records being made, but two moments of the whole week will stand out to many people, one where Super Punch Out on the SNES was played and completed in less than 30 minutes blindfolded, yes blindfolded and the other moment the four man Super Metroid race.
The four best, fastest, most consistent Metroid players ever were going to go head-to-head live to see who could complete the game the quickest, Garrison, Krauser, Zoast and Ivan all Speed Runners, all play live on Twitch but none of them had ever done something like this before, yes they play the game all the time but playing live, in front of an audience and in front of your competitors knowing that you can’t reset like you normally do, the pressure becomes enormous.
For those of you who have played Metroid in some way shape or form, it is a game that requires a hell of a lot of skill, patience and luck at times to complete but these guys make it look so easy it’s unreal. A Metroid speedrun is arguably the most technical, fast paced speedruns out there, so for the 4 main men to be duking it out live for us all to see brought a hell of a lot of attention. I won’t spoil who won it, but here is a link to the race. After many long, gruelling, sweaty days they did something that they wouldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams . . . they reached $1 Million in donations!!
SGDQ 2014 is taking place right now until 28 June, and this time the charity they are raising money for is Doctors Without Borders, another 7 – 10 days of people playing games all in the aid of charity, will they reach that astounding target of $1 Million again?? Who knows, but I for one will be tuning in to find out