Games Done Quick: Speedrunning, Charity, and So Much More | Interview with Kungfufruitcup

Raw audio for the interview with Kungfufruitcup

I can’t recall if I have ever mentioned that I love watching gaming speedruns. Thankfully, Games Done Quick, abbreviated as GDQ, is here to combine two of my favorite things in gaming, speedrunning and charity. You heard me right, GDQ hosts some of the biggest speedrunning marathons on the internet, and raises millions of dollars every year for charity. 

That all being said, how many of you out there honestly knew about this prior to reading that paragraph? I would wager money on the fact that this type of event will come as a surprise for many people tuning into this. Well I sat down with Kungfufruitcup, abbreviated as Fu, to discuss what GDQ exactly is and the various special events they host every year. So join us in this discussion as we bust that myth that gaming communities don’t do a lot of fundraising for charity.

So Fu, Would You Care to Introduce Yourself?

“Hi everyone! I am Kungfufruitcup. Most people nowadays just call me Fu, or FuFu, or Kung Fu. Any of those is easiest.”

Originally I Found You Through Twitch. How Long Have You Been Doing That?

“Well, I started watching Twitch back in January or February of 2014. By April, I decided why not? I’m going to try streaming. It seemed really cool. So, I’ve been streaming for over seven years at this point.”

What Would You Say is Some of Your Favorite Memories of Streaming? Just in General, Like Building Your Community and Stuff Like That?

“Yeah, getting Twitch partner was like a huge kind of shock, because it was earlier than I thought, and that was really big for me. And then also, going to my first GDQ was great. That was like my first ever real convention that I ever went to and that was really memorable. Ever since then, my involvement has grown with them and all of that. There are a lot of moments.”

You Do Charity Work With GDQ, but You Also Tend to Do Some on Your Own. Can You Tell Me a Little Bit About Those Events and How You Choose Them?

“The non-GDQ things? Yes, sure. So I have done some charity events on and off for the last seven years. Things that I’ve both been asked to be a part of that I was happy to do or things that I just kind of wanted to do. 

Like, I wanted to do something around Christmas one year. So my friend and fellow streamer came and visited and we raised over $4,000 for Toys for Tots and  did a stream that was really cool. I’ve raised money for the American Association for Suicide Prevention. I have worked with AbleGamers and it’s hard to think of all the things I’ve done.”

Have You Ever Worked With or Raised Money For That Hits Closer to Home?

“Yes and no. There’s one I think I’ve worked indirectly with some Alzheimer’s things, especially when I’ve been involved with Twitch-con. I’ve helped out with the Twitch-con charity stage, some of their events like hosting segments, and I’ve participated in a segment that represents different charities there, which I think is really awesome. I love that they do that. But, there’s one I really want to personally work more with and raise money for Alzheimer’s research. So that’s like a future one I’ve been planning.”

I Loved The Background. Now, Let’s Dig Into What We Came Here to Initially Discuss. For Those That Don’t Know, What Exactly is GDQ?

“Okay, so Games Done Quick is not a charity game and it is not a charity organization. Games Done Quick is an organization that was created that does events that do support charity, but Games Done Quick itself is not the charity itself.

So there’s content outside of the large charity events that they do that isn’t charity related, necessarily. But they are focused around supporting speed running and things that are kind of speed running adjacent. So yeah, what most people know about are the two main stage charity events that they do each year, which is Awesome Games Done Quick, which is in the winter, which benefits the Prevent Cancer Foundation. And then Summer Games Done Quick, which is obviously in the summer, and they benefit Doctors Without Borders.”

Summer Games Done Quick is Coming Up Soon Right?

“Yeah, it’s in a couple of weeks actually which is why I just had a meeting regarding it.”

*Quick note here, the dates for the event are July 4th through July 11th

So Fu, What Exactly Do You Do for Games Done Quick?

“So I started by being just an attendee at the main stage GDQ events. Then, after a couple years, I decided to apply to be a host, which are the people who read out donations, prize incentives, information about the events, all that background talking you hear that isn’t a direct runner. So I started by doing that and it’s a purely volunteer position that you audition for. And it was super fun. 

And after doing that for a little bit, I knew about the interview team that they have. And wanted to bring up interest in that. And when I talked to a member of staff who worked with GDQ, they said, “Actually, we have positions that may be opening up right now. And you were one of the people we talked about”. So this was really good timing.

So with good timing, they tested me and Keizaron out at the same time for potential new interviewers and liked us and we both got on the team. So at this point, I still occasionally apply to be a host for GDQ.

I also used to do donation station, but I don’t have time for that anymore. Because interviewers, we are responsible for writing and doing the pre-show before the event, as well as the interviews all throughout the event. Now, as of the last like this will be our third event, including daily recaps. So it’s a lot.”

Prior in Our Conversation, You Mentioned GDQ HOTFIX. Can You Tell Us More About That?

“GDQ HOTFIX are just the weekly GDQ shows that they put on that they’re not charity related. Although occasionally there are special events that pop up that will help certain charities and organizations. But I want to see if I can get a real official definition for you.

It’s a series on Twitch spotlighting exciting speedrunning races, tournaments, events and more. That’s what they say. But it’s a bunch of shows hosted by some really awesome people.”

They Sound Like a Blast. So What Sort of Preparation Goes Into Putting On one of the Bigger Marathons?

“So I am just one small facet of what goes into preparing for a GDQ marathon. We have like a large handful of full time staff that work with GDQ all year, and then a bunch of staff that come on for these main stage events. 

You know, tech people like producers and camera operators, and people behind the scenes, like audio people, and there’s like volunteer coordinators, event coordinators, you know, and then the people who work with the prizes, and social media. There’s a lot of facets that go into it. And so I assume, and this is just conjecture and I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, you could say, especially if you’re thinking about things like prizes, they start planning as soon as the last one or even before the previous one is over, right? Especially like things in person. When things go back to being in person, which would be fantastic. you have to be making deals to these hotels that have convention centers well in advance, I assume, there’s going to be a lot that I don’t know. Like as an interviewer, I mainly focus on my segment, like my tasks as an interviewer.”

It Definitely Sounds Stressful to Plan Something that Large.So, What Charities Does GDQ Normally Work With or Do They Mix it Up?

“The Winter GDQ, Awesome Games Done Quick, always supports the Prevent Cancer Foundation, just like the Summer Games Done Quick has always supported Doctors Without Borders. But we have had other events, like the Corona Relief Done Quick and the Harvey Fund Done Quick.

There was also GDQ Express, which happened at Twitch-con, and I assume will happen again when things are back in person. Those typically supported different charities as they tended to work alongside Twitch-con.

Also, I’m thinking about Flame Fatale, which is a group that organizes events that are all online and women focused. Speedrunning to help  encourage more women to get into speedrunning. And since that started, we started benefiting the Malala Fund, which is also women focused, which is awesome.”

Do You Have An Idea of How Much GDQ Has Raised for Charity Overall?

“Okay, so as of January of 2020, they had raised over $22 million. So at this point, it’s got to be closer to 30.” 

*Another side note here. After we concluded the interview, the GDQ website was updated with a new total value of $31 million. Great job to them for sure on this and hope they keep at it.

Thank You So Much For Your Time Fu. Is There Anything You Would Like to Talk About Before We Sign Off?

“Well, if anybody’s interested in not only watching GDQ, but getting involved with things,I’m not sure the next time they will be accepting new applications for their hotfix shows, but you can always keep an eye on Twitter. Their Twitter account is a really good place to just keep in touch with when any submissions will be open.

For the main events it is always like months before because they need to organize the games list and get the volunteers to go through the auditions and applications and all that. So they will post  the games submissions for each main event first and then they open volunteer submissions after. So that’s a good place to look and check for those which is good and then they mention all of that during GDQ HOTFIX shows you can always watch throughout the week But yeah, their Twitter is the best way to know what’s going on and if you want to apply as a volunteer and do something  or even want to go to the event in person and help out, we could always use more hands.”

We also had a lengthy conversation about convention edict and that you have to reserve a spot to attend GDQ events in person. I really encourage you all to listen to the audio so you can hear even more about the GDQ process as well as some neat convention stories throughout.

Signing Off

I want to take this opportunity to thank Fu again for sitting down with me and doing this interview. Hope that you folks all enjoyed this interview, and that you found your new favorite event to tune into. I want to remind you all that the next GDQ event is SGDQ, which you can check out on their Twitch linked below. And for those that listened to the podcast, Fu was nice enough to provide a link to her website where she has a tips page for attending conventions.

Alright folks, I am going to head out. Going to give you a heads up that I already have my next interview lined up. Be sure to check back in with us at BDG for gaming news and reviews and I will see you later folks.

GDQ Twitter | GDQ TwitchGDQ Website | Fu’s Convention Tips for GDQ