As you were getting ready for the upcoming semester, women speedrunners from around the world were getting ready for the chance to show their skills during a week-long charity livestream called Flame Fatales 2023.
The upcoming event will run from Sunday, Aug. 13-20, and will benefit the Malala Fund. It is one of the semiannual speedrun marathons hosted by the Frame Fatales, an all-women speedrunning community associated with Games Done Quick, which has hosted charity speedrunning events since 2010. You can tune into the marathon on GDQ’s official Twitch channel.
To those who don’t know, speedrunning is the challenge of finishing a game as fast as possible. Speedrun marathons, such as Flame Fatales, are events showcasing the talents of multiple runners playing different games. Speedrunning is all about “(trying) to improve yourself and improve your times as much as possible however is meaningful to you,” according to Frozenflygone, aka Court, the Frame Fatales Event Lead.
This month’s event will feature runs by over 60 different Fatales running a variety of games such as Sonic Mania, VA11 Hall-A, Resident Evil 4 Remake, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Runs vary from 15 minutes to just under three hours. You can view the schedule and the full list of games and runners here.
“It’s a myth that women don’t play video games… and the only way to get rid of that myth is to shove a bunch of people in front of the camera and be like, ‘Hey, we’re here. We exist,” Court said.
The speedrunning community is predominantly male, and Frame Fatales was created in 2019 to provide a platform for anyone who identifies as a woman to break into that space.
“Knowledge and information in schooling is power,” Court said. “That’s how we’re going to continue to better ourselves.”
Frame Fatales has raised $685,891 for the Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to ensuring all girls worldwide have access to education.
You don’t have to be a speedrunner to get involved with the Frame Fatales community. Court joined the Frame Fatales Discord before she became confident in her speedrunning abilities. “I said, ‘I was thinking of going to (Awesome Games Done Quick 2020)… but I’m not really that good.’ But (the Discord) was like, ‘It’s not about that. If you like speedrunning, go!’”
To join the discord, you can message Games Done Quick on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org. According to Court, plenty of members and some of the volunteers and artists behind the event have never speedrun a game before in their lives. But for any beginning runners out there, she does have some advice.
“Don’t compare yourself to other people,” she said. “There’s always going to be someone who is faster than you or has had the ability to spend more time than you. What matters is what you want to accomplish and your own goals. Also, pick a game that you want to play over, and over, and over again and (that) has good music, because you’ll be listening to it a lot.”
Court is proud of the growth Frame Fatales has seen in recent years and hopes the event continues to thrive in the future.
“My big goal is that Frame Fatales gets to host an in-person event,” she said. “All of our events have been online so far. The women and the Fatales deserve to get that chance to be on the stage, too, and have their friends be in the audience and cheer for them… I’m hoping we can be in person by 2025.”
Flame Fatales 2023 will run from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 13-20.