Dance to your printer

Fog you can write on

Truck-crashing sim!

Back last year, I blogged about a little freeware game called “Stair Dismount”. Programmed by the incredibly cool programmer Jetro Lauha, it was a neat little physics sim, in which the goal was to cause the most damage possible to a small human figure — by figuring out innovative ways to shove him down the stairs. It was so queasily addictive that geeks soon began trading secrets on different ways to apply force — a push to the shoulder, a push to the legs — to produce the most heinously crumpled body.

Anyway, Jetro has a new game out — and this time, the goal is to cause the most damage as you crash a truck into a wall. I’ve downloaded it from his site, and am already totally addicted. And, I might point out, this neatly falls into my favorite argument about games: That what is most game-like about them is their ability to run interesting simulations of cool things you couldn’t or wouldn’t ordinarily do.

Unless, of course, you already happen to push people down the stairs a lot, in which case stay the hell away from me.

(Thanks to El Rey for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson