Robert Yang on Bodies

A ragdoll is an awkward body in flux that we share with the game engine, whose every movement is unknowable and unpredictable and must be negotiated. Even the most realistic motion capture cannot compete with this kind of truth. Our vulnerability and awkwardness is what makes our bodies alive.

When you spank the NPC in Hurt Me Plenty so hard that you dislocate his shoulders, the instability of his ragdoll is crucial. It helps communicate the breaking of boundaries as the game code literally buckles under your demands, desperately trying to resolve his bones into some sort of rational arrangement, but it is impossible.

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