– by Fox Troilo


“Imagine people beating the original Super Mario Bros. in under five minutes.”

That’s the pitch that Matt Merkle, Director of Operations, uses to hook people onto the concept of Games Done Quick. Also known as GDQ, the organization has been around since 2010. Since its humble beginnings in a basement, the semiannual event showcases speedrunners who play video games live, old and new, as fast as possible combining their expertise with prowess on how to best exploit glitches and tricks to their advantage. Almost a decade later, GDQ has become a true entertainment show that brings together a rich and diverse community of both runners and spectators.

A great example is this 2019 speedrun by Dr.Fatbody of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog:

But while the runs are incredibly addictive to watch, the week-long event (currently on-going, more on that in a moment!) is held for a core cause—to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation (PCF), an organization with the mission to save lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection. In real-time, watchers can donate directly to the Prevent Cancer Foundation to support the speedrunners, unlock bonus runs, and be entered to win an assortment of prizes. In 2018, Awesome Games Done Quick raised around $2.2 million for charity, and they hope to break that record in 2019.

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Doesn’t this sound amazing? Here’s what you need to get in on the fun:

And to close things out, here’s a recent race by runners Stew and V0oid, competing for the best time in Donkey Kong Country:

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Fox serves as an entertainment journalist in the Washington, D.C. When not covering cinematic news for LRM, he critiques films as a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Fox also has a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Strategy from Indiana University Bloomington.