[dropcap]E[/dropcap]very year, there are two events run by GamesDoneQuick. Starting today (July 2nd) Summer Games Done Quick will be underway for an entire week. This 24/7 live stream shows highly skilled gamers playing a large number of games with the goal of finishing or completing the game in record time. An average marathon raises over $1 million!

All of that’s well and good, but what’s it all for? Well, GamesDoneQuick supports two major charities. Their Winter series is partnered with the Prevent Cancer Foundation. However, Summer Games Done Quick supports Doctors Without Borders, for which they are raising money this week. At this point in time, they actually have $138,168. This is only the first day!

Wait, Speedrunning? What’s that?

Speedrunning is a challenge gamers often put themselves up to. The goal is to achieve something in a game as quickly as possible. Depending on the game and the runner, it could be just to get to the end of the game. On the other hand, some games are more interesting when you’re trying to complete them or reach a specific objective (like all dungeons or all bosses). There are even some runs where the goal is specifically to AVOID upgrades that would normally be required or make the game faster.

In order to accomplish the given task, speedrunners will do anything they have access to. This means that runs often include various sequence breaks, glitches, and basic exploits. If playing a game casually pits the player against the developer, then speedrunning pits players against the game system, itself. The best part is that this has a strong community to itself that is more than happy to help newcomers out.

Summer Games Done Quick HUD
SM64 is a speedrunning classic. Here you can see the HUD for SGDQ. It shows tons of info about the current run at a glance.

In fact, this strong community means that commentators usually have a lot of history with trying to break the game, themselves. This ensures that commentary rarely ever drags. If there’s nothing interesting to say in the run, the people on the couch usually have plenty to jab at each other about. It’s often a lot of fun to watch and even take part in.

What About the Games?
Castlevania Summer Games Done Quick
A glitchless run of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night got a brand new record, this year!

The games, of course, are what we watch Summer Games Done Quick to see! So what are they playing, this year? The marathon kicked off with Nier: Automata. Since then we’ve seen classics like Luigi’s Mansion, Metroid Prime, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (the last of which wound up being a new record). At the time we’re writing this, they’re playing Okami HD. More importantly, they’ll also be playing a bunch of other really awesome games, including:

  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Super Monkey Ball (a wonderful run to watch)
  • Donkey Kong 64
  • Jet Set Radio Future
  • I Am Bread
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver
  • Doom (2016)
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot
  • Jak II
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Portal
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Crypt of the Necro Dancer
  • Metroid Fusion
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Dark Souls 3
  • Earthbound

It’s a lot of games and it’s only a small sample of what they’re going to play, this week. On top of that, there will be some major events like a race of Super Metroid and a relay race of the Super Mario series. Classic series like Mega Man, Sonic, and Zelda will get many entries along the way. You can find the full schedule for the live stream here.

So Where Can I Watch Summer Games Done Quick?

If you want to watch SGDQ 2017 for yourself, the best place to do so is on their main website. Donations go towards Doctors Without Borders and also give you a chance to win some cool swag and even influence the marathon, itself. (Did we forget to mention that donation incentives help decide how certain runs are played? Seems like an important detail.) You can also check this stream out on the Twitch channel.

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