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Behold: The power of watching pros play video games

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Awesome Games Done Quick is a yearly charity event starring the gaming industry's best and brightest speedrunners -- people who play games very well, with truly superhuman quickness. This January after 160 hours of live streaming on Twitch (a live video service dedicated to gaming), Awesome Games Done Quick raised $1.58 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Yep, people playing video games on camera raised nearly $1.6 million to help fight cancer. Sometimes, the world can be a great place.

Even better, Awesome Games Done Quick is growing. This year's marathon shattered the group's previous records with 9.4 million unique viewers and 29.2 million people reached via the front page and elsewhere on Twitch, nearly double that of 2014. Speedruns are a blast to watch -- they're a rapidly emerging form of entertainment, and Awesome Games Done Quick is one of Twitch's biggest charity marathons, period. During this year's stream, a group of Tetris Grand Masters blasted through seemingly impossible levels, someone successfully played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time while blindfolded and a man proposed to his girlfriend (Spoiler: now fiancee). Joystiq collected some highlights right here.

Awesome Games Done Quick is organized by Games Done Quick, a group that regularly hosts speedrunning marathons for charity. The next event is Summer Games Done Quick, scheduled for later this year.

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