AGDQ 2016 starts Sunday, January 3rd at around 9:00 am PST. For those that don’t know GDQ — Games Done Quick — is a speedrunning community and marathon, primarily consisting of two annual events: AGDQ and SGDQ. AGDQ, or “Awesome Games Done Quick,” is held in the winter and SGDQ, “Summer Games Done Quick,” is held (obviously) in the summer months. They bring together some of the best players in the speedrunning community to showcase glitches and speed, deconstructing and sometimes destroying your favorite games in a fraction of the time you thought was possible.
These two main marathons are about more than providing gaming entertainment, however. They are also used as platforms for various charities, most often Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This year AGDQ 2016 will once again be supporting PCF.
Most gamers are aware of speedrunning by now. Though finishing games quickly and challenging your friends to beat your time is something many players have done over the years, speedrunning didn’t really become a community or international activity until DOOM came out. The game was a global phenomenon, and the ability to record in-game “demos” of gameplay helped spur competition. Many players recorded demos showcasing their fastest runs through various levels. The community grew ridiculously fast, considering it was still the dial-up era, and eventually lead to the creation of the SDA or Speed Demos Archives, which has been the leader in the speedrunning community ever since. The SDA is also the creator of the GDQ series. Check out the Wikipedia article on speedrunning for more background and links.
Speedrunning is dominated by singular players (though co-op and side-by-side single player competitions are also featured). This year is no exception. A lot of people assume these events are for retro gaming, and while you’ll see plenty of old-school action during the marathon, you’re going to see many newer titles as well. In fact, several of OnlySP’s 2015 Game of the Year nominees will be run this year, including Ori and the Blind Forest and Bloodborne. Other more recent titles featured are SOMA, Splatoon, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, and Axiom Verge. Look for them mixed in with all the Marios, Sonics, Mega Mans and Castlevanias. See the full AGDQ 2016 Schedule for probable times — the nature of marathons say these aren’t set in stone.
Personally, I check out as much of the GDQs as I can each year. I find speedrunning fascinating, and like donating to good causes whenever I can. Are you checking out AGDQ 2016 this year? And if you are, what games are you looking forward to the most? You’ll find the show at https://www.twitch.tv/gamesdonequick starting Sunday.