The Day my Brother Beat QWOP
Clouds gathered in an ominous formation of lightning-spewing death. The dismal sky unleashed sheets of bitter polluted rain, tainting the earth with the toxic scent of human life. The day started out like any other for me, but at that point I was blissfully unaware of the humiliation that awaited. It was April 15th, 2011, the day my brother, Ater, beat QWOP.
I never knew what simmered behind the uneasy glare Ater gave me, but I had a feeling my prowess at online flash games had something to do with it. You see, I had made the mistake of showing my brother the screenshot of the time I made it halfway through QWOP (I made it 50 meters). Naive fool that I was, I held no suspicion that my boasting could spark a month-long odyssey for Ater.
In the weeks that followed my fatal error, I saw little of Ater. Occasionally, we would pass each other in the street and share friendly nods, but beneath the facade of brotherly love, a raging jealousy was driving Ater to live a double life.
Ater later revealed that he was staying up till five AM every night, fueled by Pepsi and Cheetos. A simulated Olympic event had turned all too real for this thirteen-year-old. I’d like to say that he never beat my QWOP record, but his epic journey compels me to write what really happened. After a month of sleepless nights and Cheeto-dust fingers, Ater’s hard work finally paid off.
Back to April 15th. Ater entered my room with a smug grin on his face, and proceeded to load up QWOP. I’d never seen him so proud of himself. I expected that he must have mastered the game, and would smoothly jog to the finish line, so I was shocked when he proceeded to play QWOP in the most gimped-out, ridiculous way I had ever seen. His runner wasn’t running, he was doing a weird crab-walk shuffle to the finish line. Stunned, I watched as he proceeded to crab-walk all the way to the 100-meter point, and make a final lunge past the finish line to beat QWOP.
I’m a prideful man, but I’ve learned to give credit when credit is due. Ater worked for it, he deserves it, and he rightfully brags about beating the game to me all the time. It amazes me that this deceptively simple flash game ensnared my brother’s attention for a month. Sure, the competition had something to do with it, but I think Ater’s month-long experience demonstrates that QWOP is one of the best flash games around.