The organisers behind charity speedrun extravaganza Awesome Games Done Quick have canned January's upcoming live event in a statement criticising Florida's handling of Covid-19 and LGBTQ+ rights.
With Summer Games Done Quick making its first in-person debut since the pandemic, it was expected that the event's winter version would follow suit. It was supposed to return to the Sunshine State but, as reported by Kotaku, will now be online-only. "While we would love to return in-person, we've determined that to provide a safe and welcome event to all it was best that we move away from our originally planned location in Florida," the statement read.
"Given the state's continued disregard for Covid-19's dangers (including anti-mandate vaccination policies) and an increased aggression towards LGBTQ+ individuals, including the law colloquially known as 'Don't Say Gay,' we do not believe it is a safe place for our community at this time."
It’s official! #AGDQ2023 will be taking place online January 8th-15th! While we would love to return in-person, we’ve determined that to provide a safe and welcoming event to all it was best that we move away from our originally planned location in Florida.See thread below.September 7, 2022
GDQ continues to explain that it secured the venue contract back in 2020 for the following year, but had put it on hold "until it was safe to return," but could no longer do so. "We've explored multiple options which would allow us to remain in-person by relocating to a safer location. Unfortunately, the cost required to cancel our contract is too great to justify relocating AGDQ while paying the cancellation fee, and we are no longer able to delay our contract. This ultimately led us to move AGDQ 2023 online.
"While the move to online will allow us to save some on expenses, we still have considerable costs to recover. We are looking to recover that money where possible, including with community support via Twitch subs. We thank the community for their support!"
It's a shame to have the fun, in-person aspect once again disappear from GDQ, but also feels like a very understandable move from the organisers. Regardless of the format, there's bound to be tons of fun and outlandish speedruns taking place, and it's still all in the name of charity at the end of the day. There's still a little while longer to wait until ADGQ kicks off, taking place from January 8 until January 15 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.