Kill the Animals! Save the Animals!
Awesome Games Done Quick(AGDQ) is an annual fundraiser event benefiting The Prevent Cancer Foundation. This week long event features gamers from across the world as they speed run all manner of games from classic console favorites to modern titles.
Since the first marathon held in 2010 a whopping 8 Million dollars has been raised for both Prevent Cancer as well as Doctors Without Borders. What began with less than a dozen friends in a basement has blossomed into a massive event boasting over 1400 attendees, dozens of volunteers, and an elite cadre of showcasing gamers all dedicated to the goal of raising money for a good cause…and saving frames.
What is Speed Running?
Speed Running is exactly what it sounds like. Players compete with each other to complete games as quickly as possible using whatever means necessary. This can include exploiting shortcuts, skips, and glitches in the game. The competition can be fierce but friendly with new records being set for games that have been around for decades.
For example, the par time to complete The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time is only 2 hours. It takes me that long just to get though the tutorial. Records are being set and broken constantly even on games as old as the original Super Mario Brothers. The latest record was set by a runner called Darbian in October 2016 live on his Twitch channel, beating the previous record by only tenths of a second.
Classic games are not the only ones being speed run, new strategies and methods are constantly being developed by the community for all manner of games including the 2016’s DOOM. The game is being featured at AGDQ for the first time this year and has a par time of one hour and fifteen minutes. Far faster than anything I could accomplish currently.
You may be wondering what Kill the Animals means? Do they really slaughter animals on the stream in a sacrifice to some dark god? The gods of RNG(Random Number Generator) are cruel and demand the pixelated blood of the firstborn to win their favor. But seriously, Kill/Save the animals is a donation incentive for Super Metroid, the traditional finale of the marathon. It refers to an optional objective in the game that some runners skip in order to save time.
Other incentives include custom name submissions for RPG characters, special game request, run modes, game modes, bonus content feature and much more. It allows the audience to become invested in the gameplay in a different way. It has proven to be very effective as Save/Kill the animals raised hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
Though I am unable to attend this year I will be hosting the stream on my twitch channel and covering the event live via Twitter. Please check out the marathon and donate if you can. Oh, and Save the Animals.
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