Awesome Games Done Quick is returning as an online-only event after canceling its planned in-person extravaganza that was originally going to be held in Florida. The organization cited Florida’s "Don’t Say Gay" law and anti-vaccine mandates as the reasons for canceling the in-person portion of the event.
"Given the state’s continued disregard for COVID-19’s dangers (including anti-mandate vaccination policies) and an increased aggression towards LGBTQ+ individuals, including the law colloquially known as 'Don't Say Gay,'" the organization wrote, "we do not believe it is a safe place for our community at this time."
On the GDQ website, the group explained that it had originally secured a venue in Florida following AGDQ 2020. GDQ It postponed the in-person event in 2021 due to the global pandemic, and then after the state passed its "Don't Say Gay" bill in March of this year, looked for alternate venues outside of Florida. Unfortunately, GDQ was unsuccessful in finding another location and its contract no longer allowed for any more delays.
"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 cancelation fee, and we are no longer able to delay our contract," the organization said. "This ultimately led us to move AGDQ 2023 online."
The move to an online-only event has saved GDQ some money, but it still has "considerable costs to recover."
Awesome Games Done Quick will run from January 8 to 15, 2023, with proceeds benefiting the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Game and volunteer submissions will open on September 11.
Earlier this year, Summer Games Done Quick raised over $3 million for Doctors Without Borders, but it wasn't without controversy. One speedrunner admitted to faking his Metal Gear Rising Revengeance world record run, resulting in being banned from future events.
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