From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Developer(s)Bennett Foddy
  • Bennett Foddy (iOS, Browser)
  • Noodlecake Studios (Android)
Designer(s)Bennett Foddy
EngineAdobe Flash, HTML5
  • WW: November 12, 2008
  • WW: December 21, 2010
  • WW: July 4, 2013

QWOP (/kwɒp/) is a 2008 ragdoll-based browser video game created by Bennett Foddy, formerly the bassist of Cut Copy. Players control an athlete named "Qwop" using only the Q, W, O, and P keys. The game became an internet meme in December 2010. The game helped Foddy's site (Foddy.net) reach 30 million hits.[1]


Bennett Foddy, QWOP's creator, at Fondation Brocher in October 2009

QWOP was created in November 2008 by Bennett Foddy for his site Foddy.net, 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.[2][3] He taught himself to make games while he was procrastinating from finishing his dissertation in philosophy.[4] Foddy had been playing games ever since he got his first computer (a ZX Spectrum 48K) at age 5.[4] Foddy stated:

"One of the things I found with QWOP is that people like to set their own goals in a game. Some people would feel like winners if they ran 5 meters, and others would feel like winners if they inched all the way along the track over the course of an hour. If I had put a social leaderboard or par system in, those people would probably have all quit out of frustration, leaving only the most determined or masochistic players behind."[5]


QWOP's title refers to the four keyboard keys used to move the muscles of the sprinter avatar.

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.[6] 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.

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.[7]

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.[8]

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

Alternative versions[edit]

An iPhone app of the game was released in 2011.[10][11] 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.[12] Kotaku called the iPhone version "4000 Percent More Impossible" than the original game[13] and "An Olympic Challenge For Thumbs".[14]

A 2-player multiplayer version of QWOP named 2QWOP was also released in February 2012,[15] after being featured at an event in Austin named "The Foddy Winter Olympics" displaying a selection of Bennett Foddy's games.[16][17] 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.[18][19][20][21][22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benenson, Fred (August 2, 2011). "Meet Bennett Foddy: The man behind QWOP and GIRP". Wired UK. Wired Magazine. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  2. ^ "Bennett Foddy". The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "Dr Bennett Foddy". Insititue for Science and Ethics. Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Rose, Mike (February 13, 2012). "Road to the IGF: Bennett Foddy's GIRP". Gamasutra. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Brown, Mark (March 2011). "Games work "neurological magic," says QWOP creator". Wired Magazine. Ars Technica. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  6. ^ "Browser Game Pick: QWOP (Benzido)". November 7, 2008. Archived from the original on December 11, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  7. ^ Chai, Barbara (July 28, 2011). "Kill Screen Hosts Game Night at the Museum". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  8. ^ "Fastest 100m run, QWOP (flash game)". Guinness World Record Challengers. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Johnson, Ryan (September 24, 2012). "Indie Feature: The QWOP Game Makes an Appearance in The Office Season 9 Premiere". Rant Gaming. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  10. ^ "QWOP for iOS. Play QWOP on your iPhone!". Foddy.net. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  11. ^ "QWOP for iOS for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App store". iTunes. August 2017.
  12. ^ "QWOP for iOS by Bennett Foddy app detail". 148apps. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  13. ^ Good, Owen (December 23, 2010). "Oh, Great, QWOP Just Got 4000 Percent More Impossible". Kotaku. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  14. ^ McWhertor, Michael (January 1, 2011). "QWOP For iPhone Is An Olympic Challenge For Thumbs". Kotaku. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  15. ^ Good, Owen (February 19, 2012). "The Sequel No One Wanted: 2QWOP". Kotaku. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  16. ^ Alford, Ben (February 10, 2012). "In the Austin Area? Go Play Mega GIRP This Sunday". 4 Player Podcast. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  17. ^ Alford, Ben (February 20, 2012). "Two Player QWOP Released". 4 Player Podcast. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  18. ^ Kayatta, Mile (February 16, 2012). "QWOP Gets Awkward Multiplayer Mode". Escapist Magazine. Archived from the original on September 23, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  19. ^ Venado (February 17, 2012). "Two-Player QWOP: Now Available For All Your Silly Walk Needs". Gamer Front. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  20. ^ Larrabee, Ryan (February 16, 2012). "Two Player QWOP Targets the Rage Centers of the Brain". Piki Geek. Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  21. ^ Zivalich, Nikole (February 16, 2012). "2QWOP: Multiplayer QWOP Is Now Available". G4tv. Archived from the original on January 13, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  22. ^ Heller (February 16, 2012). "QWOP gets majorly awkward with split-screen support". MMGN. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2012.

External links[edit]