The week-long speedrunapalooza known as Awesome Games Done Quick kicks off this weekend with an opening day that includes high-speed blasts through games including Deathloop, Death's Door, Dead Space, and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. (That's a lot of Ds, huh?)
Games Done Quick, for those unfamiliar, is a celebration of speedruns—the art of blasting through a videogame as fast as possible. Any game will do—this year's AGDQ includes The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, Stardew Valley, I Am Bread, and Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R, to give you a sense of the breadth on tap—and runs can have various rules and restrictions, such as particular achievement requirements or the ability to use glitches. But the bottom line is the same across the board: Get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.
This video showcases how speedrunners take advantage of systems and weirdness to get where they want to go in a hurry:
The speedrunning community is passionate (and very knowledgeable) about its games, and the whole event is a lot of fun to watch, too. There's genuine excitement in seeing speedrunners pull these stunts off, especially when they're working to best a record. And it's more than just a show. Awesome Games Done Quick is also a fundraising event for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and a very successful one. Last year's event earned more than $2.7 million (opens in new tab) across 42,000 donations.
PC-centric highlights from this year's schedule include Deathloop, one of last year's most popular games; the “austerely intellectual” indie puzzler Antichamber; The Typing of the Dead, which I'm curious about because I have no idea how you'd speedrun a typing game; It Takes Two, because nothing adds pressure like a partner; and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, because it's a blindfolded speedrun—literally, a run of the game while wearing a blindfold.
(This won't be the first time that a blindfolded run has taken place, or the first game: The Summer Games Done Quick 2021 event featured two blindfolded speedruns (opens in new tab), for Trackmania Nations Forever and Super Mario 64.)
Awesome Games Done Quick 2022 will once again be held exclusively online, and will be livestreamed on Twitch (opens in new tab), beginning with a preshow set to kick off at 8:30 am PT/11:30 am ET on January 9. The full speedrun schedule is up at gamesdonequick.com (opens in new tab).