For the last few years, I’ve been blocking out a week of my life every six months. The reason is good, trust me. Nerds have been getting together in a small room getting hot and sweaty, but for good reason. They speedrun and break games to raise money for charity. If none of you are aware, this past week was Summer Game Done Quick 2018 and every SGDQ, they support Doctors Without Borders or Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF).
Why raise money by gaming?
Because why not! People can do what they love and support a good cause at the same time. Many of these people are taking time off work or away from their streams to perform these runs, and they do it to raise money for charity. They want to help people around the world and they get to do something they love in the process, if you look around you can do similar things. So, I think I’ve covered my bases on why, now.
If some aren’t aware, depending on the type, or rather category, of run you do, you may be using a lot of glitches. You can go onto Twitch and find various people speedrunning old favorites like LoZ:OoT with some super precise tricks. Pokemon is known for being broken and for really good reason, although the Gameboy line of Zelda games are known to be solid, Capcom did a great job.
There are even some tricks where you see two guys playing one game of Mario Kart 64, not as two separate characters, but as one. The coordination in the run was impressive. That is not the only one, imagine one guy playing two games at once with a single controller. They happened, it is marvelous seeing Pokemon Red and Yellow in almost sync (it is glaringly clear that Yellow is slower). The saving grace of generation 1 is the red bar glitch, which was the only thing that kept Red and Yellow in sync for about a minute.
Okay, so that is a taste. Every GDQ event has a TASBot block, what is TASBot? TAS stands for Tool Assisted Speedrun, if you attach bot to it, it should be obvious. TASBot runs are marvelous shows of programming and it takes forever to make a TAS run. One year TASBot played brain age, it was great. Needless to say, games can get pretty broken, there are classic moments and donation incentives, too.
Incentives, For a Charity Event?
Many companies and individuals donate items for you to win as prizes. They do it as a write of, plane and simple, yes it makes them look good. There have been whole packages of current gen consoles. Other prizes are fan made artworks or decorations. Some incentives are for certain features or run deviations, the on-going one is Kill or Save the Animals in Super Metroid, every time. Every event has a fight over saving the animals or the frames.
Some donation incentives come from the donators. Donations come in saying, “I’ll donator more if the runner does X” or “if the audience sings the City Escape theme”. It gets interesting when people decide to ride saying certain names right or making a funny voice.
This year had some great runs and a new feature. RunnerGuy ran OoT Bingo, meaning you speedrun OoT and play bingo at the same time, so as you complete tasks on the board you mark it off. The Low% Race of the OG LoZ was great, too. There are some many tricks and many are still being found in the games that we enjoy. The OoT run, they had tricks that were found only a few minutes before the run. Again, some people now do speedrunning as a job, because the internet rocks. The VoDs are on Youtube, they may not all be there, as of writing this, but they will.
Needless to say, it is a great event, even with some of the politics between people. In the end many nerds come together to support good causes and to have some fun. Races, glitch exhibitions and bonus runs make it all fun, fo those watching and those getting to perform.
(A Better rendition is City Escape with Audience participation.) https://youtu.be/rCHTyer0Vw8?t=22m35s
Image sourced from: https://www.slashgear.com/sgdq-2018-how-to-watch-what-it-is-must-see-speedruns-24535306/