Video game event in Florida called off because of state’s stances

Video game event in Florida called off because of state’s stances

The Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 video game benefit event will not take place in Florida as planned. In an announcement Thursday, event organizer Games Done Quick (GDQ) said it doesn’t believe Florida is “a safe place for our community right now,” citing the state’s COVID-19 protocols and the Bill of Rights. of Parents in Education (known colloquially as the “don’t say gay” law).

Games Done Quick is a biannual event featuring quick races, where players rush through a video game with the goal of finishing it as quickly as possible through careful planning, skill, and often taking advantage of a game’s bugs. in clever ways. For nearly a decade, Awesome Games Done Quick took place in the DC area until 2020, when GDQ hosted the event in Orlando. This year’s event was to mark the return of Awesome Games Done Quick as an in-person event (2021 and 2022 were virtual events due to coronavirus measures), but it’s now planned to be purely virtual once again.

“While we would love to return in person, we have determined that in order to provide a safe and welcoming event for all, it is in our best interest to move away from our originally planned location in Florida,” GDQ wrote on its website. “Given the state’s continued disregard for the dangers of covid-19 (including mandated vaccination policies) and increased aggression toward LGBTQ+ people, including the law known colloquially as ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ we don’t think it’s a safe place. for our community right now.”

GDQ’s winter event, Awesome Games Done Quick, is held each January to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. GDQ has featured trans gamers at its events as hosts and creators. She also started Frame Fatales, a women’s sprinting event run by the Malala Fund, a non-profit dedicated to girls’ education, which was co-founded by Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

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In the statement, GDQ said it had originally secured a Florida venue for the 2021 event, but postponed its use due to the pandemic. After looking for other places to host Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 in person, GDQ said the cost of paying the cancellation fee for their current venue and finding a new one was too much. Event organizers did not specify the name of the venue in the statement and did not respond to questions from The Post at the time of publication.

“While switching to online mode will allow us to save some expenses, we still have considerable costs to recover,” GDQ wrote on its website. “We seek to recover that money where possible, including with the support of the community through Twitch subscribers. We thank the community for their support!”

Games Done Quick, which was founded by Northern Virginia native Mike Uyama, has raised more than $35 million for charities since its inaugural event in 2010. The organization hosts two events each year dedicated to different charities: Awesome Games Done Quick in the winter for Prevent Cancer Foundation and Summer Games Done Quick in the summer for Doctors Without Borders.

The Florida Parents’ Rights in Education Act, which was championed and signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), places restrictions on classroom discussions of gender, sexual orientation, and LGBTQ issues. The White House has described the law as a thinly veiled attack on LGBTQ rights, calling it “discrimination, plain and simple” in an official statement. The law has also been condemned by dozens of large corporations, including Sony Interactive Entertainment, Starbucks and Target. In March, Disney announced it would stop all political donations in Florida because of the law after the company’s own workers criticized CEO Bob Chapek for not taking action sooner.

At Awesome Games Done Quick 2022, speedrunner Mitchriz beat FromSoftware’s “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” (a notoriously difficult title from a developer famous for creating brutally difficult games) in just two hours, blindfolded. Awesome Games Donate Quick 2022 raised a total of $3.4 million from thousands of donors who watched the event online.

Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 will run from January 8 to 15, 2023.

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