QWOPing Like a Boss

I was slacking off in high school when I first *ahem* stumbled across QWOP: the nigh impossible online game where you control the thighs and calves of an extremely uncooperative, disjointed and possibly drunk runner. The game’s goal is for you to use the Q W O and P keys to spastically flail your way across the 100-meter finish line.

Unfortunately, the game’s learning curve is so steep, that even having positive progress is considered remarkable, and getting past the 20-meter line is legendary.

As I recall, during my first exposure to the game, my personal best was somewhere around 3 meters, a mark I achieved by having QWOP take two accidental squat-steps before rolling into a ball and performing a cartwheel using only one leg and the back of his head. He then quickly crumpled to the ground, possibly due to the sever blunt force head trauma he had just received by refusing to break his fall with perfectly capable-looking arms.

You can also fail in a myriad of other ways.

When you do invariably wipe out, QWOP flops to the ground like a boneless chicken breast, whereupon you receive condolences from the game for your dismal failure:

Once the novelty of QWOP faded, it was quickly replaced in my mind by much flashier games such as the Impossible Quiz and Plants VS Zombies.

Then, ever so many years later, QWOP came roaring back into my mind with all the subtlety of an ancient meme:

I thought back to my younger years and decided with sudden certainty in that moment that my life had been destined for glorious purpose–to become one who had finished QWOP.

I began my crusade late in the day and full of naiive hope. It had been so long, I had to relearn the game, from the timing to the motion to the many indescribably horrific ways an animated figure could fall heavily to the ground while his obviously broken legs twisted around him, like really long socks you put rocks into the bottoms of and then swing around to hit your siblings with, (the rock-socks not the legs).

It was a thing of beauty.

Around the end of hour one, I began to get frustrated with my inability to get past 8.6 meters. Each minute past hour one increased my frustration exponentially. Around hour two, I began searching for answers, including watching countless videos of so-called ‘professional QWOPers’ to aid me. It was, and remains, one of the lowest parts in my life. Even with all the advice (the reading of which took me close to hour three), I began to realize that, barring years of practice, I probably wasn’t going to be QWOPing across the finish line anytime soon.

So I took the Ender Wiggin approach.

I had finally stumbled upon the scootNjiggle strategy. Which is where you scoot and jiggle your way across the track in a painfully slow manner using only the character’s thighs and the occasional head-bob, (QWOP’s way of wincing at the impressive turf-burn on his legs). I continued with this strategy for the next hour until finally:

National Hero, soon to be National Overlord, right here.

(And to those who say scooting yourself across the finish line doesn’t count as a “real” victory, I implore them to remember the Rules of Being a Super-Villain. The first is, of course, Presentation. But the second is this: it doesn’t matter how you win, only that you do win.)

And because saying ‘muh ha ha’ here would not only be cliche, but also self-indulgent, I’ll let this do the job and instead celebrate in true A2A style with a bunch of terrible puns and QWOP memes.

A: Just one.

PS–For you hardcore QWOPers/bronies out there, there is a horse version of QWOP, called CLOP.

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Posted on September 29, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on QWOPing Like a Boss.

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