In my mind, speed running was always an odd corner in the gaming community where gamers shunned games produced beyond 1997 and ran the same few cartridges over and over until their drop-down NES drawer melted. I recently took the time to watch Speed Demos Archive‘s (SDA) “Summer Games Done Quick” (SGDQ), and by “took the time” I really mean that I was glued to my monitor watching game after game that I have never personally touched get completely and masterfully dominated.
SGDQ is an annual live-streamed marathon of several games (88 listed on the schedule) which takes place over a week in the summer in hopes of garnering donations for a charity. This year’s benefactor? Doctors Without Boarders. How much can a group of the relatively small sector of gaming that is speed running earn? $10,000? $20,000? Try $255,160.62 (according to Speed Demos Archive), making the grand total of money raised by SDA charity marathons over $1,000,000. One donor stated that people often say video games are a waste of time, but that any skill which can bring in over $200,000 for charity is no waste of time. I couldn’t agree more.
All of the runs I watched (roughly around 30) were incredible. The precision and skill showcased by these runners was exceptional. A few of my favorites were the Super Metroid 100% run by Zoast, the Hotline Miami run by Duke_Bilgewater, and, of course, the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time run by Cosmo. There were also several odd-ball runs (such as Sinister1‘s Double Dragon II run where he plays through the game as both brothers at the same time) that kept the stream interesting and made me laugh out of pure enjoyment.
Sad you missed out? Check the SDA marathons page for information on future broadcasts and to learn how to donate. Hats off to Speed Demos Archive, Speed Runs Live, and all the runners who donated their time and talents on producing another excellent extravaganza. Gaming is good, gaming for a great cause is even better.