The Happy Wheels latest sensation in online gaming violence

Posted Apr 23, 2013 by Andrew Moran
Online gaming has dramatically grown over the years. One report found that there are more than 200 million online gamers in the world, while the average PC or Mac user in the United States spends close to six hours playing online games.
With a wide range of games to choose from on the Internet, is more violence better? There is no doubt that a lot of people have become desensitized to violence, especially with all of the depictions in motion pictures, television shows, video games and in the news.
One developer might be pushing the barriers in video game violence. Wheelchair Guy, Irresponsible Dad, Effective Shopper, Santa Claus and Pogo-stick Man. These are only some of the names of the several playable characters in the latest online game called Happy Wheels, a ragdoll physics-based web browser game developed in 2010 by Jim Bonacci.
Jim Bonacci
The unique game’s characters utilize unconventional vehicles to navigate each level in the online game. There are two main features in TheHappyWheels: the depiction of graphic violence, such as being decapitated or shot, and the ability for its players to submit their own content on a consistent basis. This popular feature has led to more than 5.6 million user-generated contents.
“I was messing around with it, and eventually created a guy in a wheelchair that would endlessly fall down a random hill. I thought it was funny and stupid, so I kept expanding on it. It was only meant to be a very small game, but eventually it became my main focus,” said Bonacci in an interview with TJF Today.
“It always bothered me’d fall off your vehicle and harmlessly bounce around. In other cases, you would have the same canned animation over and over,” explained Bonacci in a separate interview with The Creator’s Project. “I’m not sure if it was a lack of detail or concern on the part of the developer, but the consequences of your in-game actions were often improperly illustrated. For me, half of the fun of playing a game that imitates life (sort of), is making mistakes and seeing the end result.”
The game has received quite a number of positive reviews since its launch three years ago. IGN listed Happy Wheels as one of the “Best Free Games” on the Internet, while recommends the online game to avid gamers.
Happy Wheels also has a dedicated fan base. The game has several exclusive fan artworks of PewDiePie and Tobuscus, which are in the top 20 YouTubers list. It even has a fan club that has all the latest news regarding the game, tutorials and a few other online games that are considered to be just as fun as Happy Wheels.