Awesome Games Done Quick Will Be Online Only in January Due to Florida’s Covid Stance and Anti-LGBTQ+ LawPhoto courtesy of Games Done Quick Games News Games Done Quick
Yesterday Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 was officially announced for Jan. 8-15, 2023. Alongside this news came the confirmation that the speedrunning charity stream will return to an entirely online format. This announcement was somewhat of a surprise as the previous event, SGDQ 2022, utilized a hybrid format with online and in-person speedrunners.
In a Twitter thread, Games Done Quick revealed that the decision to return to an online-only format was made to ensure the marathon could provide a “safe and welcoming event” for their community, which would not have been possible at the previously contracted venue. They further clarified that the event was planned to return to Orlando, Fla., which had been the location of AGDQ 2020, but that due to the state’s COVID-19 policies and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, they would not be able to host a suitable event for their community. GDQ had signed a contract for the venue before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and prior to the passage of legislation such as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
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 (@GamesDoneQuick) September 7, 2022
Under Governor Ron DeSantis the state of Florida passed bills last year that restricted mask and vaccination mandates. As a result, it would have been difficult for GDQ to enforce mask requirements at the venue. Additionally, earlier this year DeSantis signed what has become known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which banned instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida public schools. GDQ has hosted many speedrunners who are members of the LGBTQ+ community in the past.
AGDQ is a marathon event aimed at raising funds for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a charity focused on cancer prevention and early detection. During the event, viewers can donate to meet streaming incentives and qualify for prizes. The stream can be found on GDQ’s Twitch page. Game and volunteer submissions for the event will open on Sept. 11.