Speedrun charity fest organisers Games Done Quick have revealed the dates for winter’s Awesome Games Done Quick event, and noted that it’ll once again be held online rather than in-person. They’ll be bringing the speedruns from January 8th to 15th this time around. AGDQ 2023 had originally been planned to take place in Florida, but that’s scrapped due to the state’s attitudes towards COVID-19 and LGBTQ+ people.
Games Done Quick confirmed the change on Twitter, where they also explained a little more about their decision to go digital again. They said that, although they’d prefer a return to an in-person experience, they felt it was safer and more welcoming not to hold the event in Florida as planned. Florida’s state government recently threatened to fine the Special Olympics $27.5 million if that event didn’t drop its vaccine mandate, for example.
“Given the state’s continued disregard for COVID-19’s dangers (including anti-mandate 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,” Games Done Quick tweeted, referring to the contentious Parental Rights In Education measure implemented at the beginning of July. AGDQ had booked a venue in Florida back in 2020, which was postponed due to the global pandemic.
“Unfortunately, the cost required to cancel our contract is too great to justify relocating AGDQ while paying the cancellation fee,” Games Done Quick added, “and we are no longer able to delay our contract. This ultimately led us to move AGDQ 2023 online.” With “considerable costs” incurred by the cancellation, the organisers are now looking for ways to recover those. They’re hoping their community will be able to help.
The 14th annual winter speedrun event is being organised to support the Prevent Cancer Foundation, as is tradition by now. Game and volunteer submissions open on September 16th, so you’ve got a little while to prepare for that. Like its sibling event GDQ, AGDQ always features plenty of interesting runs, many of them on PC. 2022’s lineup included a blindfolded run through FromSoft’s rock-hard action RPG Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, for example.