Yesterday, in his talk at the Independent Games Summit, Matthew Wegner beat up clowns. To be specific, he showed a physics sim clip of a dozen full-costumed clown ragdolls tumbling helplessly down a spiral staircase. Wegner, head of the physics game site Fun-Motion, called clowns falling down stairs "the ultimate physics game." Why? Because it's a lot easier to identify with clowns in peril then, let's say, a bunch of shapes. Besides, it's just hilarious. Later on, Wegner also showed a sim of a few hundred cows falling through a mess of painful looking barriers. Also very excellent.
The thing that Wegner didn't mention though is what's up with all this sadism? Physics games are definitely fun, but what's most fun is destroying stuff--clowns, cows, ragdoll fighters, whatever. So why the connection? Regardless, if I were a clown at GDC right now, I would probably be in hiding.