The amazing video game marathon that raises millions of dollars for charity returns today - here's how to tune in
- Awesome Games Done Quick, a charity video game marathon, begins on January 6th and will run until midnight on January 13th.
- The event runs nonstop all week - all told, it'll run for 168 consecutive hours of gameplay, with players and games swapping out over the course of the marathon.
- Players will be speedrunning dozens of different games, and can earn extra money for charity by beating them as quickly as possible.
- Games Done Quick, the organization behind AGDQ, has helped raise nearly $17 million for charity since it started the event in 2011.
Awesome Games Done Quick, a charity speedrunning marathon, begins today, January 6th, and will run for 168 consecutive hours until midnight on January 13th. The week-long event will benefit Doctors without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and is the largest single global fundraising event for both organizations.
Hundreds of players and video game fans will fill the Marriot Bethesda North Hotel in Rockville, Maryland for AGDQ this week, and hundreds of thousands more will tune in to watch on Amazon's Twitch.
Games Done Quick, the organization behind the marathon, has raised more than $17 million for charity since 2011. Along with AGDQ, the organization hosts Summer Games Done Quick, and has put together smaller fundraisers for specific causes, like 2017's Harvey Relief Done Quick.
The speedrunning community is a group of hardcore video game players dedicated to beating specific games as quickly as possible. Dedicated players spend hours studying the fastest routes and techniques to shave fractions of seconds off their times, and share video and strategy of their runs online. Speed Demos Archive, a sister site to Games Done Quick, archives videos of record speed runs, and serves as an organizing base for the community.
The selection of games this year spans every console generation, from the original "Sonic the Hedgehog" to more recent hits like "Super Mario Odyssey" and "Dead Cells."
Viewers at home can tune in and donate throughout the week-long event, and messages attached to their donations are read live on the broadcast. AGDQ 2018 peaked at 198,744 concurrent viewers and brought in a record $2.295 million from 32,368 different donors. The largest individual donation was $108.092.32.
As one of the community's premiere events, Awesome Games Done Quick has been home to multiple world record runs, too. Some players offer additional donation incentives, like completing their game on a harder difficulty if a viewer donates more than $100 during their session.
Below you can watch AGDQ starting at 11:30 a.m. PT on January, 6th; be sure to check the schedule to find specific times for each game, including how long the run will take.
Awesome Games Done Quick mobilizes a unique community that is also crazy entertaining to help raise millions for great causes. No matter how the gaming actually goes, everybody winds up a winner.