Geeky Goodness: Video Gamers Raise Hundreds of Thousands For Charity

Some happy speedrunners, Via Prevent Cancer Foundation

A common criticism of video games is that they are a waste of time; that is, they do nothing to further the well-being of those playing them, and certainly do nothing for society on the whole. However, the innovative owners of the video game site Speed Demos Archive (SDA) have decided to challenge status quo and raise money for a good cause by doing what they love: beating video games at a neck breaking speed.

SDA is a site dedicated to hosting footage of video game speedruns. A speedrun is a nearly-perfect play through of a video game optimized to be completed in the shortest amount of time possible. While speedrunning is not a very well-known practice, there are nonetheless "celebrities" within the community who are especially talented at what they do. Taking advantage of the relative internet fame of various speedrunners, SDA hosts charity marathons featuring the big names beating their favorite games on a live stream.

Their most successful one so far, called Awesome Games Done Quick, was held in January 2013 and raised over $400,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

For the Jan 2013 marathon, Speedrunner, "Cosmo," raised over $10,000 alone. Via Deviantart

The most recent marathon called, Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ), raised money from July 24th to the 29th for Doctors Without Borders. At 2:00 a.m. on July 30th, the final tally showed $252,985 dollars raised, shattering the initial goal that had been set at $50,000.

This was the eighth charity marathon SDA has hosted to date. Since 2010, the organization has raised nearly $750,000 across four separate charities, and hopes to break the million dollar mark by 2014.

The participants receive no monetary compensation for their involvement in the marathons. They only want to make a difference. Throughout the marathon, if various donation goals were met, the speedrunners would do something particularly challenging or comical during their runs for the amusement of those watching. For example, these guys played upside down after reaching a donation goal:

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It goes to show that raising money can come in any form, even if it means playing Mario Party for hours on end (as if any game of Mario Party doesn't last an entire evening anyway).

Learn more about the marathons at SDA Charity Marathons.

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