What Is 'QWOP?'

August 08, 2011

So you might have seen this term -- QWOP -- floating around again recently, particularly among the gaming crowd. QWOP -- also known as the most difficult game ever created -- is a simple flash game wherein the user manipulates a track and field runners thighs and calfs using the Q,W,O, and P keys on the keyboard.

Simple enough. But very frustrating. YouTube videomaker Hank Green explains below:

The game first became a part of online video pop-culture back in December, when this video of a monotone, frustrated gamer first became popular. It's since been viewed over 4 million times. (Warning: Adult Language.) There are actually thousands of "QWOP" videos on YouTube, most of which were posted in the past 8 months since that was posted. And there are over 1,000 tagged "QWOP fail." Many of the most popular ones contain varying levels of (profane) frustration.

While search interest in QWOP definitely hit its peak back in late 2010, the trend has continued to demonstrate a strong following, and just today, one of our most-viewed videos in the United States was this clip, of a man dressed up as everyone's favorite/least-favorite runner at this summer's Comic-Con. It's been seen over 250,000 times since Saturday.