Earlier this year, Games Done Quick made its return to in-person speedrunning. Summer Games Done Quick 2022 was a massive success, as the top runners in the world banded together, both in-person and virtually, to raise over $3 million for charity. The next stop was supposed to be Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 in Florida, but given the state's current hostile political climate, the Games Done Quick team has determined that the best move is to return to a virtual space.
Here's the official statement from the Games Done Quick Twitter account:
It’s official! #AGDQ2023 will be taking place online January 8th-15th!
While we would love to return in-person, we’ve determined that to provide a safe and welcoming event to all it was best that we move away from our originally planned location in Florida.
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.
Immediately after the success of AGDQ 2020, we secured a contract with a venue in Florida to return in 2021. Since the global pandemic was declared, we postponed in-person events until it was safe to return.
We’ve explored multiple options which would allow us to remain in-person by relocating to a safer location.
Unfortunately, the cost required to cancel our contract is too great to justify relocating AGDQ while paying the cancellation fee, and we are no longer able to delay our contract. This ultimately led us to move AGDQ 2023 online.
While the move to online will allow us to save some on expenses, we still have considerable costs to recover. We are looking to recover it wherever possible, including community support via Twitch subs. We thank the community for their support!
Many of Games Done Quick's staff, runners, and community members identify as LGBTQ+, so it's understandable while they would find Florida to be unsafe for them. New hostilities towards Florida's LGBTQ+ residents, teachers, and citizenry in general are being enacted each day. The Washington Post has a brief overview of what "Don't Say Gay" is and how it affects anybody living in Florida.
This is without even mentioning Florida's lax approach to COVID-19 safety. While overall cases in the state continue to drop, the death toll has reached roughly 80,000. Many parts of Florida have reduced, if not outright eliminated, masking requirements and COVID safety protocols, which goes against the numerous provisions that GDQ took during Summer Games Done Quick.
We'll continue to monitor this story as it develops at Shacknews. For now, Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 will take place online from January 8-15. The team will look to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. SGDQ 2022 raised over 3 million in its return to on site running back in July.