Frame Fatales

Frame Fatales: Females are Taking Over Speedrunning

CORRECTION 06/25/2019: We corrected two photo captions and replaced the original featured image to properly represent Frame Fatales.

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Frame Fatales is a Games Done Quick initiative that’s sweeping the speedrunning community by creating a safe and inclusive environment for female speedrunners across the globe.

Official Frame Fatales logo
Graphic via Games Done Quick

What is Speedrunning?

In short, speedrunning is playing a video game as fast as possible from start to finish. This may include glitches, manipulations, and several routing techniques. Each game contains a different set of rules for the various categories that are run.

Official Games Done Quick logo

Speedrunning has gained popularity over the years, leading to several different events held to showcase different games and speedrunners. An organization called Games Done Quick, also known as GDQ, put on two of the most popular events. They have two main events annually that raise money for charities, including Doctors Without Borders and Prevent Cancer Foundation. They also have a series on Twitch called The GDQ Hotfix, which spotlights tournaments, events, and more within the speedrunning community between the two main events.

The Grand Idea

How Frame Fatales started

Speedrunner Beckski93 from SGDQ 2018
Speedrunner Beckski93 from SGDQ 2018 / Photo credit: Maranda Ruth Brien/GDQ

In April 2019, a GDQ staff member named Hannah (known as Muffins) turned her idea for an all-women event into a reality. Since then, Frame Fatales became a community of its own. Hannah wanted to start a change in how females are seen in the gaming world. “The streaming community at large tends to judge women based on their looks and not their skill, and there is the tendency to judge each woman as representative of what all women can do. With bringing out enough women and normalizing women in speedrunning, we can hopefully be seen as individuals instead,” she said.

Many women agreed with this statement, one being a runner at the event named Lizstar. She said, “Women are sadly overlooked compared to men in speedrunning circles…our event shows we’re here, and we’re ready to be represented.”

With Hannah’s background in eSports event organizing, she was able to put the event together in one week. The first event took place online from May 12-16. It showcased over 50 hours of speedruns, including Final Fantasy VI, Sekiro, Legend of Zelda, and many more.

Frame Fatales’ goal

Speedrunner SmoothOperaitve  speedrunning Tomb Raider II at AGDQ 2019
Speedrunner SmoothOperative speedrunning Tomb Raider II at AGDQ 2019 / Photo credit: Dale Earnhardt/GDQ

“Our goal is to normalize women in the speedrunning community as runners, not only talent or volunteers,” Hannah said. “So many of our women who volunteer on-site at the main events are also runners, but there is a fear of putting yourself out there on the internet when you feel like the minority. We wanted to show that women were not rare in speedrunning.”

The event was successful and encouraged women from all over to pursue speedrunning and put themselves out there to showcase their abilities. Runner Kerry Madonna said, “It was something I never knew I always wanted to be a part of…Despite having a world record (at the time), I was still someone too nervous to apply (for marathons). This broke the seal, and I hope many women who feel the same can push themselves and try it.” Speedrunner Nylume agrees, saying, “I know that when I started speedrunning, I was intimidated and unsure of putting myself out there. I hope that Frame Fatales encourages more women to start speedrunning and create communities where they can support one another.”

Women supporting women

Frame Fatales celebrates raising $2.39 million raised at AGDQ 2019.
GDQ staff and volunteers celebrate raising $2.39 million raised at AGDQ 2019. / Photo credit: Angel Cano/GDQ

Supporting one another is exactly what resulted from Frame Fatales. Since the event, the runners, staff, and others involved have created a community to keep the momentum going. “The community is more accidental, but so many of the ladies had fun during the week that we made a permanent home on Discord for it,” said Hannah.

Speedrunner Taylor Rose (known as 1upGirlXaltis on Twitch) said, “We’re just a group of girls you can go to when you want to feel safe, supported, and respected.”

Overall, the community is excited to see how the event continues to grow. And they look forward to seeing more women inclusion in the speedrunning community.

Need Speed Now?

The next Frame Fatales event takes place online from Aug. 18-22, 2019 at https://twitch.tv/gamesdonequick. You can find out more about Frame Fatales on Twitter and support the next GDQ event, Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ).

SGDQ takes place from June 23-29 in Bloomington, MN and benefits Doctors Without Borders. You can watch online at https://twitch.tv/gamesdonequick.

Find out more about this event as well as future Frame Fatales events at Games Done Quick’s official website.

Featured image credit: Brian/GDQ

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