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Games Done Quick Cancels Event in Florida Due to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Laws

The Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 video game charity 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 at this time,” citing covid-19 protocols. of the state and the Parental Rights in Education Act (known colloquially as the “Don’t Say Gay” Act).

Games Done Quick is a bi-annual event featuring speedruns, where players rush through a video game with the goal of completing it as quickly as possible through careful planning, skill, and often taking advantage of a game’s bugs. ingenious way. For nearly a decade, Awesome Games Done Quick was held in the DC area until 2020 when GDQ hosted the event in Orlando. This year’s event was meant 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 is now scheduled to be at again purely virtual.

“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 best that we 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 anti-warrant vaccination policies) and increased aggression towards LGBTQ+ people, including the law colloquially known as ‘Ne don’t say gay,” we don’t feel this is a safe place for our community at this time.

GDQ’s winter event, Awesome Games Done Quick, takes place every January to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. GDQ has highlighted trans gamers in its events as hosts and creators. He also launched Frame Fatales, an all-female sprint event for the Malala Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to girls’ education, which was co-founded by Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

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In the statement, GDQ said it originally secured a location in Florida for the 2021 event, but postponed its use due to the pandemic. After researching other sites to host Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 in person, GDQ said the cost of paying their current site’s cancellation fee and finding a new one was too high. Organizers of the event 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.

“Although moving to the Internet will save us on expenses, we still have considerable costs to recoup,” GDQ wrote on its website. “We are looking to recoup this money where possible, including with community support through Twitch subscriptions. We thank the community for their support!

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

Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which was championed and signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), imposes restrictions on classroom discussions about gender, sexual orientation and LGBTQ issues . The White House described the law as thinly veiled attack on LGBTQ rights, calling it “outright discrimination” in an official statement. The law has also been condemned by dozens of major companies, including Sony Interactive Entertainment, Starbucks and Target. In March, Disney announced it would halt all political donations in Florida due to the law after the company’s own employees criticized CEO Bob Chapek for not acting sooner.

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

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