Summer Games Done Quick raises nearly $3 million for Doctors Without Borders

This year's total surpasses 2020's and proves fun and duty can live side by side.

2021’s Summer Games Done Quickwrapped up July 11 and raised $2.89 million for Doctors Without Borders. Highlights during this year’s broadcast included Paper Mario, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, and NintenDogs. As ever, Summer Games Done Quick ’s a win-win situation for all involved.

“For a lot of the runners, it became an opportunity for them to make their passion their career,” Games Done Quick communications director Kasumi Yogi told NPR.

That’s partly true for Spyro the Dragon speedrunner Dayoman. He’s been streaming Spyro runs for more than three years and has seen a significant increase in his viewer numbers on Twitch coinciding with SGDQ. 

Normally, Dayoman’s streams average a few hundred viewers. In the past two weeks, however, that number more than tripled, with more than 2,000 viewers each on several videos. His segment during the event garnered more than 40,000 views, representing a substantially bigger reach for the streamer.

However, others simply indulge their love of a specific game or of speedrunning during Summer Games Done Quick. Jesse “Plexa” Hart is a member of Esports group Team Liquid. That might seem like it’s as far from RPGs as it’s possible to be, but Team Liquid regularly pitches in to help raise funds for good causes, including blood drives. 

In keeping with that spirit of blending fun and social consciousness, Plexa regularly appears during Games Done Quick streams to engage with the Golden Sun community and help GDQ meet its goals.

Visibility and personal fun aside, Summer Games Done Quick’s purpose is more serious. Doctors Without Borders divides its resources between advocating for better health policies around the world and combatting crises as they arise. 

GDQ alternates between donating its fundraising proceeds to Doctors Without Borders and other high-profile charities, such as AbleGamers and the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and despite switching to an all-digital format in 2020, the events haven’t seen a marked difference in the money they’re able to raise.

In fact, this year’s SGDQ raised approximately $500,000 more than2020’s event, with an average giving total of $25 per donation across 40,000 offerings.

Games Done Quick traditionally hosts two tentpole broadcasts each year -- Awesome Games Done Quick in January and Summer Games Done Quick in July -- the organization will stream a third event in August: FleetFatales, featuring the all-women speedrunning group The FrameFatales.

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News Writer

Josh is a freelance reporter and critic who’s appeared on PC Gamer, Upload VR, and SPIN online, among others. Outside of games writing and work in digital marketing, he also has an academic background in history and public relations. You can usually find him outside playing with his Belgian Malinois when he’s not working or spending too much time in Final Fantasy XIV.