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What Fall Guys can teach us about the nature of humanity

Look without to look within

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What makeths a man? The finest minds of our generation have already pitted their wits against this most fundamental of questions, and you may (fairly!) scoff at any newcomer with the audacity to trample over established wisdom with his own. Nevertheless, that is exactly what I shall now endeavor to do, for I believe I have access to a vital cultural artifact my predecessors were temporally denied. As the enlightened among you will already know, it is our inestimable joy and good fortune to be born into the same epoch as Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, a battle royale game about squidgy jelly beans completing obstacle courses.

I believe this provides a lens through which our assumptions can, nay, must be overturned. Ask not what maketh a man. Ask what maketh a Fall Guy.

Fall Guys has touched us all, and I am no exception. Every wobbling step speaks to human experience, to the beating drum within us that demands we “March! Jump! Wriggle!”. To enter the arena is to enter life, yet life so stripped of suffering as to render it barely recognisable. This is key.

As every Fall Guy bumbles and bobs, they trace a path through unreserved delight. In every Fall Guy we see ourselves; a juxtaposition of vulnerability against unshakeable perseverance. Every Fall Guy is at once a mirror and an aspiration.

But enough generalities. I intend to thrust you now into the eyes of a Fall Guy at play, where the driving edge of reality most readily makes its incision. Picture yourself, now, at the front of the pack. Perhaps by skill, perhaps by happy accident, probably by combination of the two. Before you lies virgin territory, as yet unsullied by the pitter patter of those trailing in your wake. Can you taste it? Do you feel the sultry rasp of possibility against your tongue?

Savour it, for pride cometh before a Guy.

Note that it is not pain you feel, not really. With every jellied slap comes liberation, both in the face of your fate and theirs. Ask yourself: are these fates truly different? The more you Fall, the more you will find you do not need to ask.

The arena pits us against each other, and yet it bonds us, too. We strive for a crown that can only be seized by one, but elation lies at the fingertips of all. Consider the football mini-game.

I implore you to watch, to stand back as your allies and enemies tussle over every the ball’s minutia. Allow yourself to wait, to sit in anticipation. Yes, you will be rewarded with opportunities to prevent the ball from falling into your side’s pit – but the nature of this reward is ephemeral, meaningful yet commonplace. What you’re waiting for, in truth, is for a former enemy to come forward and be held. Allow yourself now to stand together for a while, and then, if you like, begin to guide them gently into void.

I hope they go with you, as my companion did. I believe that they will, for what maketh a Fall Guy is connection.

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Who am I?

Matt Cox

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Matt is the founding member of RPS's youth contingent. He's played more games of Dota than you've had hot dinners.

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