‘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. Wow, no one really gets it. He wants the game to be played. He wants you to enjoy the game. You are given a game and nothing else. You decide what to do with the game. You are given a weapon in the game. Whether or not you decide to use that weapon IS THE GAME. If you attack that which is not attacking you, then you lose the game. If you do not avoid that which is hurdling blindly at you, then you lose the game.

    If you do not attack unless attacked and avoid that which is falling on you – you have won the game.

    This is a life lesson that apparently no one is understanding. I have the game installed on my computer and it’s very enjoyable. When you get hit and “lose” it only deletes itself. Brilliant.

  2. The world is full of R-E-T-A-R-D-S. Besides Microflop invented a similar program years ago, you know one that randomly deletes your files, and your never realy sure if you are wining or loosing. It’s called Windows.

  3. I am quite surprised at the number of people who didn’t get it here (those who think this is dumb, stupid, idiotic, etc).

    A few people had actually touched on the right point of this game. I guess Americans tend to be trigger-happy and assume that in every competitive game the goal is to win by shooting at others (explains their love for foreign wars).

    The author of the game is quite smart and the game is an excellent lesson in life. Not many are actually ready to learn, though…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.