Playing artists Sam Rolfes’ and Lars Berg’s “fleshy music game” Limp Body Beat will probably be the closest I’ll ever get to attending one of those Body World exhibits. I hate the physical look of muscles. I cringe at the sight of gore that includes flesh-slicing. I’m not into it. Flesh and anything flesh-related is not my thing. Yet, Rolfes and Berg’s browser-based rhythmic experiment for Adult Swim Games, featuring the horrifying sight of ungodly corpuscular beings, is somehow entrancing.
While the ever-travelling Body Worlds exhibition is an anatomical exploration of preserved bodies, Limp Body Beat isn’t educational in the slightest. In fact, its fleshy creatures are explicitly grotesque—right down to their absurd head sizes and lumpish body shapes. The physics of the nightmarish figures is pure ragdoll, like a flailing body after a well-choreographed crash in Trials Fusion (2014).
As said, Limp Body Beat doesn’t operate to educate you, but it will enrich you with music. Rolfes and Berg describe the gameplay as a “3D drum sequencer played by flinging limp flesh people into sample cubes.” You can create new melodies by realigning notes on the translucent cubular grid behind your fleshy beast, or even swing the creature in any which way you please to a new coordinate a new tune. The possibilities are endless in Limp Body Beat. And who knows, you might even accidentally make a hot new track to swing your limp limbs to at the club.
Rolfes and Berg don’t restrain themselves to simply art and host a litany of other varied projects individually. Rolfes is an artist, designer, and experimental sound designer (hence, the customizable drum-like music in Limp Body Beat). Berg, on the other hand, resigns himself to being a game maker and an artist. The two combined created the sick world of Limp Body Beat. The duo’s outrageously protoplasmic environment and beings akin to the disturbing transformation at the climax of Katsuhiro Otomo’s cult classic anime Akira (1988).
Compose your own fleshy melodies with Limp Body Beat on Adult Swim’s website.