Good News Gaming: saluting the streamers that make millions for charity

In the first edition of our Good News Gaming column, we salute the Games Done Quick event that raised over $2 million USD for charity...

Super Mario Odyssey
Photo: Nintendo

Welcome to the first ever article under our brand new ‘Good News Gaming’ banner. In this hopefully-never-ending series of articles, we’ll aim to amplify the nicer side of the gaming community that maybe doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. First up, an inspiring story of gamers using their passion to help a good cause…

You may have already heard of Games Done Quick, the semi-annual speedrun events held in the USA by the Speed Demos Archive and Speedruns Live communities. All in the name of raising money for charity, this excellent alliance has run 22 events since 2010. The most recent of these was Awesome Games Done Quick 2019, which took place at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel in Rockville, Maryland from January 6th to 13th 2019.

This time, funds were being raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This charity is based in the USA and is dedicated to the early detection and prevention of cancer. More information on the charity can be found on its official website, which reminds donators in simple terms of what’s at stake here: “Your gift saves lives”, it says prominently on the primary donations page.

Everyone around the globe, geeks included, can relate to that truly horrible feeling of losing someone you love. Raising money to stop that from happening – to save people from cancer, from death, from grief – truly is a noble pursuit.

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Some people might run a sponsored race in real life to do their bit to raise money for a charity like this, but for the fine folks behind Games Done Quick – and their legions of followers – that marathon is a digital one. This week-long event saw streamers and viewers coming together to play/watch great games such as Hollow Knight, Portal, Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart, Majora’s Mask, Dark Souls III and many, many more. Gamers gamed around the clock, with events playing out for a live crowd and loads of online viewers.

The event came to a close with an awesome double-bill: a streamer named Bayleef doing a speedrun of Super Mario Odyssey’s Darker Side on Switch, followed by a streamer named ShinyZeni completing Super Metroid in Reverse Boss Order on the SNES. There’s something incredibly inspiring about gamers coming together, to play games from different eras, all with a common goal: raise money to save lives.

It was, we’re pleased to report, a massive success. During the Super Mario Odyssey speedrun, donations crossed the $2 million USD mark and the crowd went absolutely wild…

The average donation during the event was $51.70, which is not an insignificant amount of cash to part with (especially if you’re a gamer with a long list of titles on your wishlist). And by the time the Super Metroid run was done, a total amount of $2,394,668 USD had been raised…

For comparison purposes, that’s £1.86 million GBP raised by gamers, to help prevent cancer, across one epic week. That’s some absolutely fine work, which is bound to have an impact on a lot of people’s lives. And it was gaming that did it.

Although you don’t have to look far online to find that Games Done Quick has come under scrutiny and been at the centre of several Twitter storms in the past, it’s impossible to deny the honourable results that this charitable event has achieved.

This is proof that the gaming community can be a positive influence in the world. It can be easy to lose sight of that sometimes, with all the vitriol that sneaks into the online discourse, but it’s vitally important to remember: just like anyone else, gamers can save lives, and loads of them banded together last week to do just that. They should, we reckon, be very proud.

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You can head on over to Games Done Quick’s website for info on this event and their next ones, or click here to donate to their campaign…