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Charity speedrun marathon Awesome Games Done Quick kicks off this weekend

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The rabid speedrunning community at Speed Demos Archive launches their big winter charity marathon on Sunday. This year's Awesome Games Done Quick, or AGDQ, starts Jan. 4 and runs continuously through Saturday, Jan. 10. Proceeds will benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

The marathon will be streamed live starting at noon Eastern time and will run for 160 uninterrupted hours. More than 150 speedrunners will be featured, making attempts at records for games ranging from Pokemon to Transistor, Commander Keen to Dark Souls 2. There will also be an Awful Games Done Quick series featuring William Shatner's Tek War and Burger King's Sneak King. You can see the full schedule here.

Last year's AGDQ raised over $1 million for Prevent Cancer, a number that "flabbergasted" the organization.

"We are... honored and moved," Rebecca Evans wrote on the Prevent Cancer blog. "I never imagined that video games could raise over $1 million. I had no idea what an inclusive community AGDQ was."

Donations will "fund research and community programs to prevent cancer," wrote Evans. Last year's Summer Games Done Quick raised more than $710,000 for Doctors Without Borders. Since 2010 the biannual events have raised more than $2.75 million for charity.

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