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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Friday Free Game: QWOP

I like QWOP: it's one of the most frustrating games I've ever played, but if there is a virtue to be ascribed to video games, it is in being maddening and yet addicting. You always win when you play QWOP, because, as it tells us smugly, everyone's a winner.

Just go ahead and try to make this guy run. I dare you. I fell on my face for 4m after a half an hour of trying. It's a compelling enough game, in that it feels solvable, but damned if I know how to make that man stay on his feet.

The story is you're a hapless guy from the tiny nation of QWOP (as a man of Maltese heritage, I feel for him already) who's been sent to the Olympics with - how shall we say - inadequate training. Your QWOP keys control your thighs and calves, supposedly, but they don't seem to work very well. The only solid thing I figured out in the half hour I gave the game was that I should start with "Q".

I can't decide whether I'm having fun, but yet I keep playing. It's a perfect Friday Free Game for masochist achievers. Like me. Play QWOP.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.