‘Lose/Lose’ trojan game for Apple Mac is an art project that deliberately deletes files

Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!Lose/Lose is a video-game with real life consequences, says developer Zach Gage on his website. Gage is reportedly a fine arts student who developed the application as part of his university thesis.

In the game, each alien is created based on a random file on the players computer. If the player kills the alien, the file it is based on is deleted. If the players ship is destroyed, the application itself is deleted.

Although touching aliens will cause the player to lose the game, and killing aliens awards points, the aliens will never actually fire at the player. This calls into question the player’s mission, which is never explicitly stated, only hinted at through classic game mechanics. Is the player supposed to be an aggressor? Or merely an observer, traversing through a dangerous land?

Why do we assume that because we are given a weapon an awarded for using it, that doing so is right?

By way of exploring what it means to kill in a video-game, Lose/Lose broaches bigger questions. As technology grows, our understanding of it diminishes, yet, at the same time, it becomes increasingly important in our lives. At what point does our virtual data become as important to us as physical possessions? If we have reached that point already, what real objects do we value less than our data? What implications does trusting something so important to something we understand so poorly have?


lose/lose from zach gage on Vimeo.

More info and download link (if you’re planning on reformatting a drive) via Zach Gage’s website here.

[Attribution: Infosecurity (UK). Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Carl H.” for the heads up.]


  1. Sorry but if this isn’t the dumbest goddam idea I’ve ever heard of I don’t know what is…I feel almost as bad having wasted the time to read about it as anyone dumb enough to download and use this waste of time.

  2. OK, I’m not sure – much like MDN – what to think of this. It seems like the only way to “win”, if that’s what you would call it, is to create a single account, based in its own partition, to play the game in. You’d have to populate it with sample files, of course … duplicates of those in your Home account?
    This is way too close to real life for me. It brings home the message of life, that only those who have prepared well for a war can profit from it. And, no, I don’t mean the ones with the “best” army. I mean the ones with files (resources) THEY can afford to “lose”. That they don’t CARE if they lose. As an American, I find this vile. Yet, isn’t this what we have been doing for years?

  3. Back in the 90s there was a Linux Doom mod that turned all the running processes on your system into demons in the game. Sort of a 3D GUI version of the “kill” command.

    You had to be really careful with the rocket launcher.

  4. If they make this into a Windows application, there is a chance it could kill some of the viruses and spyware in those PCs before the OS kills the PC. Which will kill first?

  5. @PR, it’s a message that is being delivered in a very unique way, if you don’t understand it, then, how can you qualify it as dumb. I think this is actually very creative way to express a concept.
    If you see it just as a game, you missed the entier premiss of what this is all about.

  6. Just told my wife about this – without my comment. She said: “That’s INSANE ! ! !” Typical woman’s view of a Video Game! Insane, indeed. Where’s that link again? Hmm <strike> </strike> Oops!

  7. @ DLMEYER

    “K, I’m not sure – much like MDN – what to think of this. It seems like the only way to “win”, “

    “The only way to win…….. is not to play!” Wargames the movie

    Just a thought.

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