At this point, I’m going to assume that you have heard of QWOP, by which I mean that only seeing the letters Q, W, O, and P together induce in your mind images of a ragdoll flopping around on an orange ground while snatches of “Chariots of Fire” play only during the portions of flailing when you gain forward momentum. QWOP was Bennett Foddy’s game that debuted in 2008, and came into wide popularity sometime around 2010. Millions of internet users have played QWOP, if only for thirty seconds to become aggravated enough to move along to the next item in their “things I can do right now to avoid looking at another spreadsheet” pile. If the term “cult classic” applied similarly to internet flash games as it does to movies, QWOP would be somewhere along the lines of Airplane! or Bad Taste.
Familiar Frantic Flopping
In the follow-up installment to Foddy’s frantically fruitful flash (enough with the alliterations, already) game, 2QWOP brings the frustration to two concurrent players. This is 2-player QWOP. Sometimes, failing horrifically is the kind of experience that is best shared with friends. 2QWOP gives you either the ability to: fail a little less than the person you are playing with and laugh a lot, or fail much harder than the person you are playing against and pretend to convince anyone else in the room that your particular brand of failure is actually a hard-practiced discipline that requires much more effort than simply winning.
The Game Environment
Well, QWOP veterans who play 2QWOP will immediately be familiar with the in-game environment. Instead of one set of horizontal lines, there are now two whole sets of horizontal lines- one for each player who wishes to ply his or her particular prowess in propelling their player (you’re doing it again…) across a hundred meters of giggles. The control scheme for two players should make the name of this installment “QWER and UIOP”, but basically nobody would get the name. Player 1, or top player, controls their thighs and calves with Q, R and E, R. Player two, or lower player, controls the thighs and calves of their character with U, P, I, and O (respectively). As it worked in the first game, each player’s outside keys control thighs, and inside keys control calves. The game is slightly different from the original QWOP in a couple ways, and in the interest of not giving away too much, you should just know that response times and muscle reactions seem to have been tweaked a bit. Also, instead of waiting approximately 3.78 years for a player to finish, the game has a tidy time limit and just tracks the high score among the two active players. The site encourages players to plug in an extra keyboard, but when two people play on one keyboard, they may have to actually share something and enjoy themselves with another person.
Why play 2QWOP Instead of Taking Turns on QWOP?
Few things are as fun as self-deprecation or public humiliation, provided that you aren’t the subject of either. Since QWOP mirrors approximately none of the skills that build a successful human in today’s society. Nobody is going to come from the rafters to chastise you for either being bad at QWOP or laughing at/with people who are bad at QWOP. It’s a safe area where you are free to laugh at and bask in the glow of a person’s ineptitude. 2QWOP is one place where Schadenfreude is not only accepted, but enhances the game. Nobody is a pro at this game (sorry, all five competitive QWOPpers out there that may be offended at that statement). This is one of the rare cases in life today where people can be bad at something without any apologies being necessary. If you haven’t picked up on the subtlety that is wafting your way, let me make it simple for you. This game is hilarious when played individually, but when a few friends can sit around and share a joke it makes the joke that much sweeter.
QWOP may have been raised by the same high tide that brought many items of interest from the internet into the public eye, but it is one of the things we’d like to see stick up here. In 2015, it seems that the only time you hear the phrase “good clean fun” is from a hipster’s VHS, and being able to fail miserably and not feel like that’s a bad thing is a rare gem. 2QWOP opens the possibility of sharing good, clean fun with your friends without having to look up the nose of a “culture connoisseur”.
Fail and laugh at yourself, or laugh at your friends failing. Hell, do well and be proud of it, if you can manage to become a QWOP master. The game premise and application is so far displaced from any kind of reality that you cannot take jibes from failure too hard, nor let praise of success make you immodest. It may be a difficult concept for some to fathom, but 2QWOP just fun. If you want to play Rugby running game make sure you check Axis Football which is very fun and entertaining game.