I've never been one to understand the lure of watching others play video games but this week, I made an exception for Awesome Games Done Quick 2016.
For those unfamiliar, Awesome Games Done Quick is a week-long marathon speedrun event broadcast on Twitch. Along with its summer counterpart, Summer Games Done Quick, the events generate donations for various charities by bringing together some of the world's best video game players to complete speedruns of various titles.
This year's iteration raised more than $1.2 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation ($1,208,222, to be exact).
Speedrunning simply means completing a game as quickly as possible, often by taking advantage of programming errors or other glitches. If you've never watched a true, non-tool-assisted run, you owe it to yourself to check out some of the archived footage.
Highlights from this year's event includes a blindfolded run of Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!, a run of Super Metroid in which the bosses were defeated in reverse order, a run through Super Mario Bros. 3 in under 12 minutes and perhaps my personal favorite, completion of The Legend of Zelda in 30 minutes and 14 seconds.
I was also really impressed by the tactics used in Super Mario Kart, a game that I (thought I) dominated as a kid (yeah, I sucked big time compared to these pros).
Summer Games Done Quick 2016 takes place July 3-9 in the Minneapolis area.