Gaming

The Origin and Physics of the Double Jump

The other day we were having a family game session on the PS4, which means we were playing the light-hearted adventure game Knack. Though it's not really any sort of revolutionary title, being little more than an update of Crash Bandicoot, it is a bright, joyful spot in the increasingly dark and violent world of gaming that I can share with my four-year-old daughter. Whose HDMI port do I have to kiss to get a colorful cartoon character not named Mario around here these days?

With her little hands what usually happens is one of us will control the movement of Knack with the left thumbstick, and the other will be in charge of the punching and jumping buttons. You can get a fair amount through the game on easy mode this way, and it's a neat way to each hand-eye coordination and cooperation.

On this occasion the Kid With One F was the buttoner, and she was getting us through the first level perfectly when she asked, "Daddy, how come Knack can jump in mid-air?"

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner