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Opening screen
Web address http://www.foddy.net/Athletics.html
Commercial? No
Type of site
Flash game
Registration None
Available in English
Owner Bennett Foddy
Launched November 2008[1]
Alexa rank
Negative increase 95,096 (April 2014)[2]
Current status Online

QWOP is a 2008 ragdoll-based Flash game created by former Cut Copy bassist Bennett Foddy. Players control an athlete named "Qwop" using only the Q, W, O, and P keys (In the multiplayer version, player 1 uses the Q,W,E, and R keys and player 2 uses the U, I, O, and P keys). A couple of years after the game was released on the internet, the game became an internet meme after its outbreak in December 2010. The game helped Foddy's site (Foddy.net) reach 30 million hits.[3]


Creator of QWOP, Bennett Foddy, in October 2009.

QWOP was originally created in November 2008 by Bennett Foddy for his site Foddy.net,[1] when Foddy was a Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow of the Programme on the Ethics of the New Biosciences, The Oxford Martin School, part of the University of Oxford.[4][5] He taught himself to make games while he was procrastinating from finishing his dissertation in philosophy.[6] Foddy had been playing games ever since he got his first computer (a 48k Sinclair Spectrum) at age 5.[6] Foddy stated:

Gameplay and reception[edit]

Players play as an athlete named "Qwop", who is participating in a 100-meter event at the Olympic Games. Using only the Q, W, O and P keys, players must control the movement of the athlete's legs to make the character move forward while trying to avoid falling over.[8] The Q and W keys each drive one of the runner's thighs, while the O and P keys work the runner's calves. The Q key drives the runner's right thigh forward and left thigh backward, and the W key also affects the thighs and does the opposite. The O and P keys work in the same way as the Q and W keys, but with the runner's calves. The actual amount of movement of a joint is affected by the resistance due to forces from gravity and inertia placed upon it.

Though the objective of QWOP is simple, the game, ever since it was released, has been notorious for being difficult to master due to its controls with the Q, W, O and P keys.[9][10] Foddy says that he gets a lot of hate mail for making QWOP.[11] Despite the criticism for the game's difficulty due to the controls,[9] the game helped Foddy's site reach 30 million hits, according to Wired Magazine,[3] and, also ever since the game was released, has been played by millions of people, although numbers have declined recently.[12]

Breakthrough and popular culture[edit]

QWOP featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in July 2011.

On July 27, 2011, QWOP was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and was part of an event called “Arcade” hosted by the video game art and culture company Kill Screen.[13]

The Guinness World Records awarded Chintamani, Karnataka resident Roshan Ramachandra for doing the fastest 100m run on the game on April 10, 2013, doing it in 51 seconds.[14]

QWOP appeared on the season 9 premiere of the American sitcom The Office.[15]

Alternative versions[edit]

An iPhone app of the game was released in 2011.[16][17] The App version follows the same gameplay as with the original version, but the controls differ. The player controls QWOP's legs and arms by moving their thumbs around in the diamonds on the screen.[18] Kotaku called the iPhone version "4000 Percent More Impossible" than the original game[19] and "An Olympic Challenge For Thumbs".[20] In January 2012, Lance Liebl of Game Zone released QWOP for download.[21]

A 2-player multiplayer version of QWOP named 2QWOP was also released in February 2012,[22] after being featured at an event in Austin named "The Foddy Winter Olympics" displaying a selection of Bennett Foddy’s games.[23][24] This version places the game in vertical splitscreen, automatically assigning one player's thighs and calves to the Q, W, E, and R keys, while the other player uses the U, I, O, and P keys.[25][26][27][28][29]


  1. ^ a b "QWOP". The Games List. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  2. ^ "Foddy.net Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  3. ^ a b Benenson, Fred (August 2, 2011). "Meet Bennett Foddy: The man behind QWOP and GIRP". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  4. ^ "Bennett Foddy". The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Dr Bennett Foddy". Insititue for Science and Ethics. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Rose, Mike (February 13, 2012). "Road to the IGF: Bennett Foddy's GIRP". Gamasutra. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  7. ^ Brown, Mark (March 2011). "Games work "neurological magic," says QWOP creator". Wired Magazine. Ars Technica. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Browser Game Pick: QWOP (Benzido)". 2008-11-07. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  9. ^ a b Biado, Ed (2010-12-14). "What’s so hard about QWOP?". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  10. ^ Prokrastination, Baby (February 8, 2012). "Internet, du Ort ohne Langeweile". Zeltijung. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ Foddy, Bennett (December 2010). QWOP. foddy.net. Accessed from June 16, 2013.
  12. ^ Salgado, Filipe (February 6, 2012). "The PopSci Flash Arcade". PopSci. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ Chai, Barbara (2011-07-28). "Kill Screen Hosts Game Night at the Museum". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  14. ^ Fastest 100m run, QWOP (flash game). challengers.guinnessworldrecords.com. Accessed from March 28, 2013.
  15. ^ Johnson, Ryan. (September 24, 2012). Indie Feature:The QWOP Game Makes an Appearance in The Office Season 9 Premiere. rantgaming.com. Archived from September 26, 2012. Accessed from July 18, 2013.
  16. ^ "QWOP for iOS. Play QWOP on your iPhone!". Foddy.net. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  17. ^ "QWOP for iOS for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App store". 
  18. ^ "QWOP for iOS by Bennett Foddy app detail". 148apps. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  19. ^ Good, Owen (December 23, 2010). "Oh, Great, QWOP Just Got 4000 Percent More Impossible". Kotaku. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  20. ^ McWhertor, Michael (January 1, 2011). "QWOP For iPhone Is An Olympic Challenge For Thumbs". Kotaku. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ Liebl, Lance (January 26, 2012). "QWOP". Game Zone. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  22. ^ Good, Owen (February 19, 2012). "The Sequel No One Wanted: 2QWOP". Kotaku. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  23. ^ Alford, Ben (February 10, 2012). "In the Austin Area? Go Play Mega GIRP This Sunday". 4 Player Podcast. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  24. ^ Alford, Ben (February 20, 2012). "Two Player QWOP Released". 4 Player Podcast. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  25. ^ Kayatta, Mile (February 16, 2012). "QWOP Gets Awkward Multiplayer Mode". Escapist Magazine. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  26. ^ Venado (February 17, 2012). "Two-Player QWOP: Now Available For All Your Silly Walk Needs". Gamer Front. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  27. ^ Larrabee, Ryan (February 16, 2012). "Two Player QWOP Targets the Rage Centers of the Brain". Piki Geek. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  28. ^ Zivalich, Nikole (February 16, 2012). "2QWOP: Multiplayer QWOP Is Now Available". G4tv. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  29. ^ Heller (February 16, 2012). "QWOP gets majorly awkward with split-screen support". MMGN. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 

External links[edit]