Of all the video game events responding to the realities of the pandemic, it's no stretch to say that the Games Done Quick (GDQ) speedrun events have handled it with the most grace. Building on over a decade of charitable giving and deeply ingrained support for global health, GDQ first hosted an all-online COVID-19 relief marathon in April, followed by the now-remote Summer Games Done Quick 2020 last month.
Today, GDQ announced that next January's Awesome Games Done Quick will also be all-online, with runners and commentators participating from their homes instead of gathering together at a hotel. The dates for the event remain the same: it'll last for a week starting on January 3 and ending on January 10, 2021.
GDQ's winter marathons have raised millions over the years in support of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This year's event set an all-time GDQ record by raising over $3.13 million, narrowly edging out the previous year's summer event fundraising for Doctors Without Borders.
The all-online Summer Games Done Quick 2020 wrapped up just a couple weeks ago and managed to raise another $2.3 million for Doctors Without Borders. Despite the change in format and the economic hardships resulting from the pandemic, combining both annual event totals plus the $400,000 raised for Direct Relief during the COVID-19 relief stream puts 2020's GDQ fundraising total close to the all-time yearly high.
Going remote also allowed for showcases that might've been untenable in a regular GDQ event, such as a highly physical Half-Life: Alyx run and even a Pump It Up! speedrun performed on a full-size arcade machine.
If you're a speedrunner with a novel set-up at home or just have some amazing skills, you'll be able to submit a run for 2021's Awesome Games Done Quick soon. Submissions open on September 24 and close on October 4.