byrunning,

a sport of running, jumping, flying in an artificial range — “gorge” — with dynamic muscular obstacles: rising walls, shaking floors, dropping ceilings, pulsating columns, opening gaps — all protruding, retreating, exploding and collapsing quickly and organically. When played competitively, the goal is to make it to the end of the gorge (outrunning others or against the clock) — dodging, regrouping, deflecting the hits or gracefully taking those that propel you forward; the artistically inclined turn byrunning into a pantomime — “story of a life.” A small gorge can be grown inside a home or castle but the major byrunning sprawls, with their resident communities, are down in the Innerwald. ■    Offshoots are never mechanical: gorge feeleries evolve a sophisticated sense of how a human body can and cannot be handled. The speed and rhythm of the attacks, texture and firmness of the shoots vary to match the byrunners skill, age; the probability of action in each location can be adjusted but every run is unique: no wall or gap behaves exactly the same. ■    In a game of burst you hang in the center as dashers jump at you from all directions: score by dodging or deflecting; or, try crossing the range while touching a wall at all times (contact run) or without a single touch (byswim); and theres “musical bodybath” or jam session of, sometimes, dozens of humans contact-dancing in a dense swirl — with the gorges tendrils only squeezing in, momentarily, to amortize an accidental miskick. For toddlers, a gorge can be a clockspeed-morphing crawlscape — a live unfolding playground, a maze of soft plushy material for climbing and hiding if not running. ■    An antidote for “too much sky”? A reaction to the “touchless badminton” of high-flying life? For many, “gorge massage” is by far the most physical they ever get with the world: a haptic carnival, the primal joy of bodily intake, the feeling of being thoroughly digested — and the vertigo of corking out from a deep-down gorge into the open air.

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