The goose’s secret? You. A paper by Oskari Kallio and Masood Masoodian of Finland’s Aalto University and published in the journal Entertainment Computing last year suggests there’s an underlying reason why people have found the goose so compelling: you, the player, are pitted against the townspeople—and become a comedian in the process. “The player is encouraged to ignite these Mr. Bean-esque comedic sequences and then react to them with improvisation, rather than just watching humorous events unfold,” Kallio said in an email to MIT Technology Review. In movies and books, comedy is a passive experience—the jokes are crafted and delivered to you. In video games, players influence and often dictate the action. The personal connection makes the goose’s adventures all the funnier.