Gaming website offers entertainment for a good cause

Hannah Ash

 

 

They practice for hours–memorizing paths and working to avoid unnecessary obstacles to improve their times. It is not always an easy race to the finish, but these video game athletes are determined.

The website Speed Demos Archive is hosting a charity gaming marathon to showcase these video game athletes–or speedrunners–as part of their Summer Games Done Quick event July 25 though July 29.

Speed Demos Archive is a website that hosts speedruns of video games and streams their gameplay live where viewers can donate money and offer encouragement. Speedrunners strive to beat video games as quickly as possible and some speedrunners have even broken world records on the website, according to the Speed Demos Archive website.

“Speedgamers were already earning money,” said Mike Uyama, one of the coordinators for the Summer Games Done Quick event. “Charity was a natural choice.”

One hundred percent of the proceeds speedrunners generate from the Summer Games Done Quick event will go to Doctors Without Borders, according to the website. The last Speed Demos Archive charity gaming marathon earned $448,423.27 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

“We’ll probably make the initial goal for this year 40k to 50k,” Uyama said. He said that in addition to providing an entertaining lineup of games and benefiting charity, he thinks charity gaming events can help fight gaming stereotypes.

“There’s always that gamer stereotype of being shut-in–not being very social,” he said.

Katie Glesing, communications junior, said there are certain stereotypes people attach to game players.

“Personally, I am a published model, server at Olive Garden and work with exotic animals, but in-game who really cares?” she said. “The focus isn’t on your personality anymore. It’s really about your skills as a gamer.”

Jeff Ford, English junior, said some people associate playing video games with being lazy.

“This can easily be disproved by pointing to someone who is a very productive member of society who simply also happens to be an avid gamer,” Ford said.

Ford also noted that most of the common gamer stereotypes seem to revolve around men.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, approximately 58 percent of Americans play video games, the average game player is over 30 years old and 45 percent of all game players are women.

The goal of Summer Games Done Quick is to bring a variety of people together to have fun for a good cause, Uyama said.

“A big part of making this a success is people coming together,” he said. “It’s not a couple of people that make it come together. It’s a lot of different people working together to make it happen.”

Uyama said the schedule for Summer Games Done Quick offers a mix of games including “Final Fantasy V,” “Paper Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,” “GTA: Vice City” and more.

Uyama encouraged everyone to join the event and have fun. He said something as simple as participating as a viewer is appreciated.

“You don’t have to be rich to contribute to the cause,” he said.

To learn more about participating in Summer Games Done Quick to benefit Doctors Without Borders, visit http://marathon.speeddemosarchive.com/.