Games Done Quick is a semiannual video game speedrunning charity event. The two main marathons they run, Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick, aim to raise money for various charities by gathering the best and most entertaining speedrunners in the gaming community to showcase their skills on Twitch.
The environment is especially appealing because there is a live audience, the speedrunner communicates their thoughts in real time, and there’s often a few select couch commentators who offer insight, jokes, and anything to maintain the vibe and pace of the event. Add the fact that an announcer will read off donations every now and then, and you have the makings for an inclusive, entertaining, and heartwarming gaming event.
Of course, that’s when the event is at its best – just because someone is good at speedrunning doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be great on the mic in front of a live audience. And for the lesser games, it’s not uncommon for complete randoms to get a spot on the couch. For short games, it might not be too bad; for the longer ones, it could spell disaster.
Cue: Tomba 2, SGDQ 2014.
SGDQ 2014 – Tomba 2 By CavemanDCJ
CavemanDCJ is a Tomba 2 speedrunner, and he was booked to showcase his skills at the 2014 edition of Summer Games Done Quick. The run itself is pretty good, clocking in at 1:17:27ms, but the reason this run stands out as one of the more infamous GDQ runs isn’t because of the gameplay, but everything outside of it. Equal thanks go to both CavemanDCJ, and one of the couch commentators, Chibi.
Chibi didn’t know CavemanDCJ beforehand and didn’t seem to know anything about Tomba 2, which makes him an already splendid candidate for couch commentary. Qualifications didn’t deter this brave soul, and he sat down next to Caveman, mic in hand, and proceeded to make history.
The forced jokes, the deadpan responses by Caveman, the tension building up to that epic moment 20 minutes in, the lifesaving interjections by the announcer – all of these and more make this one of the hardest speedruns to watch. Having said that, don’t be deterred, for it is a must-see.
While the full run is worth watching since it allows you to steep in the awkwardness the whole way through, a YouTube video featuring all of the most awkward moments was made. It has over 4 million views, and it’s like a shot of cringe into your veins.
While Caveman went on a rant on his own stream after the event, people were sympathetic to Chibi overall, as it was apparent that he was out of his element. Despite the forced humor and the awkwardness around his appearance, he maintained a positive attitude and had no ill-will towards anybody, which garnered him support. To quote comedian Bo Burnham: “cringe is a form of empathy.”