In the past six years, Games Done Quick has raised $10.5 million for Doctors Without Borders, and it’s continuing that tradition this year, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Games Done Quick is a charity marathon that raises money by hosting live streams of speedrunners, gamers who play a game with the goal of finishing it as quickly as possible. The 2020 Summer Games Done Quick event, which is running from August 16 to August 23 on GDQ’s Twitch channel, will feature over a dozen speedrunners rushing through a variety of games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Splatoon, The Last of Us, DOOM Eternal and more.
In the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Games Done Quick, Médecins Sans Frontières (or Doctors Without Borders in English) spokesperson Greta Doucette revealed that donors from the 2019 event raised over $3 million.
“Last year, Summer Games Done Quick raised over 3 million dollars, which is enough to fund the equivalent of all our U.S. operations during Covid-19.” Doucette told the audience. “MSF and vulnerable populations across the globe need you now more than ever before.”
Doucette also shared that the majority of MSF’s income — over 90 percent — comes from individual donations.
Another MSF spokesperson on stream said that “Summer Games Done Quick is Doctors Without Borders’ largest fundraising event by far… Over the years, Summer Games Done Quick has raised over 10.5 million dollars for MSF, having major impact on our life-saving work.”
Although speedrunners are a niche community on Twitch, Games Done Quick is a universally celebrated event which draws in viewers from all categories. Every time a GSQ marathon goes live, it becomes one of the top three watched channels on the entire platform for the duration of the event.
It’s also a time when casual viewers can see the incredible feats that speedrunners are capable of. Pulling off a satisfactory speedrun requires exhaustive knowledge of the game, mechanical talent and meticulous planning.
But some speedrunners take it further by adding in self-imposed challenges, like in 2015 when Runnerguy2489 completed four dungeons in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in under one hour and 30 minutes.
While he was blindfolded.
If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s article on the 8-year-old who staged a BLM protest on a video game.
More from In The Know: