I nominate Edmund McMillan as the Aleister Crowley of games. The man is a master of molesting fine sensibilities, using a yoga that combines gameplay with warped aesthetics. His meditation on human sexuality turned genitalia into projectile-lobbing warships, his platformers delightfully revel in needless violence with a twist of the absurd, like the eskimo-skinning revenge of Clubby the Seal.
He also turns around and does totally whimsical, non-offensive work, like Gish or Aether which evokes the pure spirituality of dreams. I can only conclude that his aim is throw conflicting symbols of obscenity and friendliness, gameplay and absurd aesthetics, to tease a fraction of the audience into premature ejaculightenment -- and Meat Boy continues the tradition.
This is a platformer, it is mechanically closer to N than any other, and its main value comes from how it uses dynamic feedback and aesthetics to deconstruct the genre. You're a chunk of bloody meat, an generic able-body with the phallic connotations of the eternal masculine drive to get from A to B. B in this case is your babe, made of band-aids, as all these cliche's macguffins are band-aids to hold together an otherwise basic and fundamentally shallow expression of the mind. Hunter-gatherer consciousness sans the flesh. It kind of reminds me of Danny Ledonne's reading of Mario, whereby Mario is a psychotic, brick-breaking, genocidal rapist. Then there's the occult significance of the enemy character being a pickled fetus adorned with 18th century accoutrements. This can only be a metaphor for the commodity culture in which this genre was born and conceived, then aborted. Oh yeah, symbolism man.
The most significant thing about this game, however, isn't that it has zany skin (or lack thereof). It's that your movements have a trail. What this does is make visually immanent the particular dynamic in which you're engaging, and helps you reinforce your play over time. In platformers you have this integral effect, where you can repeat a given interval of space over and over again and eventually master the space between constraints; playing N years ago led me to further develop that theory, and this game helps the lay-player jaunt right along to see the matrix behind the dopamine.
Also, the deferred macguffin of sexual consummation that lies within many games oriented toward masculine-mastery, is finally made explicit in this fucking game. If you put yourself through the tortures of the damned, your own personal Marquis de Sade, and get all the band-aids in all the difficult levels, you can unlock the Hot Coffee ending. Kongregate asked them to censor it, apparently unaware of the mechanics of neurochemistry that keep them in business. Since we're all open-minded sex-magicians here, the YouTube is posted below:
Personally I thought it would have been more interesting if Band-aid Girl slowly took off her ribbons, as if undressing, but then the two of them ended up effaced into oblivion by the orgasm.