Games Done Quick Gives Gaming—And Charity—Another Swift Kick

The popular Games Done Quick series of events have become reliable charity fundraisers in recent years—all while helping to respect the culture of video games. A look at how the Awesome Games Done Quick event is doing these days.

If you’re into video games and livestreaming, this week has offered a lot of excitement worth watching in the form of Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ), an annual event that has become a staple of gaming culture.

And, as I wrote in 2015, it’s also a massively successful charity event, one that has seen its profile surge over the years as gaming itself has become more prominent, along with the concept of speedrunning, the practice of trying to beat a game in the fastest amount of time.

This year’s event, a 156-hour extravaganza taking place January 6-13 at a hotel in Rockville, Maryland, keeps going long after most event planners have gone to bed. Of course, that’s because the real action is happening online, in the form of livestreaming.

The event has traditionally been designed around charitable fundraising, and this year promises to be no different. The 2018 event raised nearly $2.3 million with one donor putting in $108,092. This year’s event, as of January 14, has raised more than $2,422,000 from more than 46,000 donors.

AGDQ has become both a cultural behemoth—it singlehandedly made the 23-year-old Super Mario RPG trend on Twitter earlier this week simply because it was featured in an event—and a fundraising one. Business Insider notes that AGDQ is the largest single annual fundraising event for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the charity the event has supported since 2011.

And rather than let the energy go away, the organizers also put on other events throughout the year, including Summer Games Done Quick, which is traditionally held in either Minnesota or Colorado, and has raised money for Doctors Without Borders. (That, too, topped the $2 million mark in donations last year.) In 2017, Games Done Quick raised more than $200,000 in an event specifically put together to offer aid after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. (That latter event was not held in a hotel, but instead streamed from players’ own homes, as Twitch users tend to do.)

If you want to check out what might be both the vanguard of livestreamed events, as well as what seems to be the future of digital fundraising, you can watch over this way.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect this year’s final fundraising totals.

(mr_morton/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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