Joshua Theno is the operator of Magical Motivation in Leavenworth. In this Q5, he talks about a charity event he will be participating in called Summer Games Done Quick.

Joshua Theno is the operator of Magical Motivation in Leavenworth. In this Q5, he talks about a charity event he will be participating in called Summer Games Done Quick.


1. Joshua, what is the video game marathon that is coming up and how did you get involved in it? When and where is it? Is the event an international one? What area are you representing? How many people will be participating in the event and how long will the marathon last?
The video game marathon is called Summer Games Done Quick, a speedrunning  event benefiting Doctors Without Borders also known as SGDQ. Speedrunning is defined as playing a video game to its conclusion as fast as possible, using any means necessary such as glitches and tricks. At a high level of play, some games commonly can have milliseconds between the world record and second place. There are several Games Done Quick events held throughout any given year. SGDQ is held in the summer and AGDQ is held in January (Awesome Games Done Quick). I have been watching them as an observer and a fan for four years. Because I was a fan I started speedrunning a game I played a lot when I was a child called Spider-man and Venom’s Maximum Carnage for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. I found this helped with my anxiety and depression. I am a disabled Afghanistan campaign veteran. I eventually found new tricks to Maximum Carnage, got the world record and submitted it to SGDQ. I didn’t expect out of the thousands of people who submitted tapes of their runs, many of them world record holders in their own right, to be chosen.
The event is held in Bloomington, Minnesota, June 24-30. There are runners from around the world coming to play their games for Doctors Without Borders, and all of this will be streamed live to the world. I personally will be playing my game Wednesday at 10:24 a.m. I don’t know if I am representing an area per say. I think I am the only one from the Kansas City area running a game. There were 190 people originally chosen to play games for SGDQ, another roughly 190 are in reserve and bonus for donation incentives or understudies. There will be 2,500 people in attendance and the marathon lasts 24 hours a day for one week.

2. What are the charities that the money from the event goes to? Why is it important for you to help these charities by participating in the marathon? How much money is usually raised at one of these marathons?
All proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders for SGDQ and the Prevent Cancer foundation for AGDQ. I have a set of skills, a passion and the ability to raise money for a good cause. What could be more important? Somewhere between $1.5 million to $2.5 million is raised at the marathons.

3. What type of business do you own in Leavenworth and what do you like best about owning and operating a business in the area? Do you get people of all ages that come into your business? What does it take to become a skilled gamer who could compete in this marathon?
I run Magical Motivation, a motivation speaking business that inspires veterans, children, businesses, etc., using magic, or sleight of hand as the visual aid.
Of course, magic is not just for children and neither are the lessons I try to teach using it. It takes lots and lots of practice to become a skilled gamer.
It also takes a love of the games you play as well as the dedication to fail faster, meaning try, fail, try again, fail better.

4. What do you say when people criticize gamers as those who sit in their parents’ basements and are obsessed with video games?
First, I am obsessed with video games no more than people are obsessed with the sport they watch every baseball, football and basketball season. I find it just as entertaining to watch, sometimes more so.
The stereotype of the basement shut-in is outdated.
Most people play casually, but those who become good or the best at certain games are just as much positive members of society as someone who loves to work on their golf game.
There are always going to be people who fit the stereotype but that is the exception, not the rule.  

45e you proud to have been chosen for this event and how does it make you feel that you will be using your skills as a gamer to help people around the world?
This is an honor and a privilege. It feels like being chosen for the Olympics in my event. This brings hundreds of thousands of people from around the world together, and it helps a good cause.
– Rimsie McConiga