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Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 – This year’s premier charity gaming marathon

gamesIt’s 2014, and what better way is there to start the new year than to watch a bunch of nerds break video games live on the Internet to prevent cancer?

The Speed Demos Archive is hosting the 4th annual “Awesome Games Done Quick” charity marathon during the week of January 5th to the 11th.

Last year’s AGDQ raised more than $448,000 dollars, peaking at nearly 55,000 concurrent viewers. The speed running crew is looking to go even bigger this year. All money goes to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to save lives through cancer research, education, and community outreach. 

The marathon promises more than 150 hours of live speed runs of more than 140 games. You’ll see old school games like “Mega Man 2” and “Super Mario Bros. 3” modern classics like “BioShock” and “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD,” and obscure oddities like “Barkley: Shut Up and Jam Gaiden” and “Yume Penguin Monogatari.”

“What is a speed run?” you may ask. Imagine beating a game as fast as you can. Now cut that time in half, because these “pro” speed runners have spent their time drudging through game code and months of practice to come up with the coolest, craziest tricks that you have to see to believe. The Nintendo 64 classic “The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time” is a game that normally takes about 20 hours to finish, but last year, at AGDQ 2013, speed runner Cosmo beat it in 22 minutes. The showing of dexterity and creativity that these players possess is an impressive feat to behold, and through this marathon you’ll get a whole week of it.

Donors will have an opportunity to put their money towards prizes and interact with the runners through bidding wars and challenges. Would you like to see a guy beat Mike Tyson in “Punch-out!!” while blindfolded? Work with other donors to meet that particular $10,000 dollar goal! Want to see the runner go for the bad ending in “BioShock”? Work against those donating for the good ending by putting your money toward your preferred conclusion! Would you like to see the runners name an RPG character after your dog? Put that in the suggestion box with your donation, and if other donors contribute to your choice, your dog could be Internet famous!

Even after the last scheduled game ends on the 11th, the marathon will continue with a number of games determined by donations through the “bonus stream” that will go on until the 14th. It’s more than a week of video game madness. Who can say video games are a waste of time if it’s all for charity?

Check out the official SDA Charity Marathon website for the full AGDQ 2014 schedule. For an idea of what to expect, I encourage you to check out the AGDQ 2013 highlight reel.

By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra

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