Wednesday, November 20, 2013

QWOP and proprioception

I recently heard a really cool episode of the radio show Radiolab.  If you don't know Radiolab, I recommend checking it out.  This episode on body-mind connection is as good a place to start as anywhere. The portion I'm referencing is a story on a man with a condition called proprioception.  His body is alienated from his mind - he has no sense of touch. This man has to teach himself to move without the use of the body-mind connection.  Has to teach himself how to make every single, minute movement of his body.  He has to do this using only visual feedback.  It took him a long while, but he got really good.  For more details, give the episode a listen.

Listening to this story reminded me of the game QWOP.  This is a game where you control the movements of a runner by pressing buttons to move his joints.  The results are hilarious, then frustrating, then hilarious, and so on and so forth.  The exercise in unplayability that is QWOP has always been an interesting experience, but catching this Radiolab episode really brought forth a real world example.  I can't help but wonder if QWOP resembles, even a little bit, this man's experience at moving his body without the sense of physical feedback we take for granted.



Play CLOP (the unicorn based sequel)

Listen to Radiolab episode 

Watch an actual successful run of QWOP!


  1. I got QWOP through one of the Humble Bundles and at first thought it was a bad idea as I've found the game is a lot of fun with a group of people versus a tiny screen. I went back a day or two ago and gave it another go, realizing I was using the controls incorrectly. Knowing what/how to do it now makes it more fun, but still, as you said, frustrating.

  2. I probably should have also mentioned that the QWOP game I got was for my phone and not the computer.