Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 Officially Underway

With January upon us, only two things seem certain: an abrupt end to the holiday festivities, and the return of Awesome Games Done Quick.

Awesome Games Done Quick ‒ an annual speedrunning marathon ‒ assembles runners from around the globe to break games, entertain viewers, and (most importantly) raise money for charity. AGDQ 2016, in particular, supports the nonprofit Prevent Cancer Foundation. All donations and other proceeds received during the event will further cancer research and education.

Viewers benefit from the generosity, too. Thanks to sponsors, Awesome Games Done Quick features games from every console generation (some of which took days to complete when we were kids). Ask yourself if you’re a kid or a squid as the event kicks off with Splatoon, then get ready for seven days of speedrun bedlam. Before the much-loved Final Fantasy IV brings the chaos to a close, you can expect showings from Super Mario 64, Left 4 Dead 2, Metroid Prime, The Legend of Zelda, Half-Life 2, Halo 4, Pokémon Yellow, Bloodborne, and hundreds more.

Personally, I want to see how someone even finishes Dragon Age: Origins and Diablo in fewer than 20 hours, and how scary Outlast and SOMA look when the survivors clip through walls.

You can check out the full schedule for past, present, and future runs (with the players and completion times), though the site is liable to experience heavy traffic.

Nevertheless, donors can engage in bid wars for their favorite games. Super Metroid holds a traditional “save the animals” or “kill the animals” contest, while many more donation incentives allow people to name characters and save files, or force runners to try difficult challenges and glitches. If you give a minimum amount throughout the marathon, you also qualify for the unique prize drawings, which include collectible plushies, artwork, consoles, and similar paraphernalia.

If you want to chip in and leave a comment that might be read during the marathon, you can donate using the AGDQ tracker. Awesome Games Done Quick blew past the coveted million dollar mark two years running, and honestly, every little bit helps.