Amazing Games with Quick Returns, 2023 Online Only
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Amazing Games with Quick Returns, 2023 Online Only

Amazing Games with Quick Returns, 2023 Online Only
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Amazing Games with Quick Returns, 2023 Online Only

Games Done Quick was finally able to return to a physical location for the first time since the pandemic outbreak. Fanbyte reported that the speedrunning organization and its biannual charity events were still very successful online. However, organizers stated to Fanbyte that they are eager to return to in-person events whenever possible. GDQ held an in-person Summer Games Done Quick event earlier this year after many delays caused by COVID variants. You would assume that Awesome Games Done Fast, which takes place in January, would follow suit.

It seems that it is not.

In a thread on Twitter today, GDQ organizers revealed that Awesome Games Done Fast would return to an online event with no central physical presence. They had planned to hold the stream in Florida as part of a 2021 contract. They were able to bring it this year because of the global pandemic. The GDQ organizers decided that it was unsafe to host a mass gathering for AGDQ because of Florida’s COVID laws. They decided to cancel with the venue, but the cancellation fee took away the resources needed to book elsewhere and reconfigure logistics in a new place.

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To help prevent the spread of COVID (an airborne virus), all runners, audience members and commentators in SGDQ in June wore masks. Research shows that proper N95 masks significantly reduce the spread of COVID. However, there is no evidence that SGDQ was a superpreader event. Florida is opposed to this. According to the Florida state government’s guidelines, “Florida’s new masking guidance recommends against using facial coverings within a community setting.”

Although they won’t say it outright, likely, the venue wouldn’t have allowed GDQ the same mask-wearing policy as it did at SGDQ. Combine this with lax COVID policies such as a shorter waiting period than what the CDC recommends for COVID-positive people to be out in public, and you can easily see a lot more speedrunners becoming very sick.

Florida’s aggressive stance against LGBTQ+ rights, notably Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay”, convinced organizers that Florida is not a place where they can welcome the community. It’s probably a wise decision not to place anyone in a position where they must travel to ensure their safety.

Undoubtedly, many people will hear or read about this story and try to argue that politics should not be involved and they should donate to the event to charity. Florida’s government is responsible for infusing politics into peoples’ lives and identities. They were not forced to do this. They can’t live without consequences for being sloppy decision-makers.

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Amazing Games with Quick Returns, 2023 Online Only
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