Lose/Lose Offers Invasive Interactivity

A new, freeware game, based loosely on Space Invaders, serves up quirky game play that can result in files being deleted off a player’s computer permanently.

Aptly entitled Lose/Lose, the game generates alien sprites based on random files from a user’s computer. If aliens are shot at and destroyed, or make contact with the player’s ship, the corresponding file is deleted off the PC.

Users who don’t want to risk cherished files can watch a video of game play on the title’s website.

Zach Gage, the game’s developer, poses the question:

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?

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  1. Zephyrus says:

    hm, my hard drive could do with some cleaning off….

    it would be interesting to see if someone takes this idea and turns it into a malicious program that doesn’t offer the warnings about file loss that this game does

    *edit* and by ‘interesting’ I mean that it would suck to receive such a program

  2. mr_mlk says:

        purpose of tricking someone into running the program

    When does the author attempt to trick anyone into running this application? The fact that the program deletes files is clearly stated on its site, in the read me and when the application is started. 

    A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

  3. Chamale says:

    This is malware. It was programmed for the express purpose of tricking someone into running the program in a way that harms their files. If the programmer honestly feels that people deserve to lose files for running this, he is an elitist. If not, he is a griefer and an asshole.

    This is a signature virus. Please copy and paste into your signature to help it propagate.

  4. MechaTama31 says:

    Yeah, ummm… No. Why would anybody actually run this on their computer? And what if someone uses it maliciously, getting someone else to play it without warning them what it does? This is a horrible, horrible idea, and the creator should be ashamed. The point he is making is not worth the damage his malware (let’s call a spade a spade) can cause.

  5. Valdearg says:

    I totally agree… As much as I like my friends, when they keep asking me how this works, or what this does, or "Why is my computer so slow??" my only response is "Google it." I tell them, this is how I learn, so that’s how you are going to learn, because I don’t have the time to be screwing around with your computer and taking that responsibility when, more often than not, I know as much or less about what you are trying to do than even you do.. Just because I can program computers doesn’t mean that I am some kind of Certified Computer Technician..

  6. Vake Xeacons says:

    Yes, as technology gets more important, the less we understand how it works.

    Its the same with automobiles. When cars first became standard, almost every owner had a rough idea of how it worked. Mechanics were there for doing hardcore fixes, or just tune-ups while the owner was at work. Now, a lot of folks I know dont even know how to change a tire.

    Its becoming the same way with computers. When the C64 started popping up in homes, you had to be a programmer just to get it to run. Now, Ive had to teach a lot of my friends how to plug in the mouse.

  7. ShayGuy says:

    So it’s avant-garde. A little like 4’33". I can get behind that, though I think I like Iji better.

    Lord, grant me the strength to finish what I

  8. Agrona says:

    I think you missed all the more interesting copy from the author (err, I’m not sure how to offset this in a block-quote):

    "Lose/Lose is a video-game with real life consequences. Each alien in the game 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."


    This certainly makes it seem a lot more interesting for what it is saying rather than what it currently appears (which is just a terrible idea for anyone not in a Virtual Machine).


  9. nighstalker160 says:

    The concept is fairly interesting. The idea that using your weapon will "reward" you but carries potentially series negative consequences certainly makes an interesting concept for a game.

    Perhaps that .doc you deleted is a 6 month old shopping list, or maybe it was your PhD. thesis that’s due tomorrow.

    Still though, a little too risky for my take especially if there’s the potential to actually screw up my system itself. I back up all my documents and stuff so I could get that stuff back if I lost it, but if this thing could delete a system file or some .dll’s its a little too risky for my blood.

  10. nighstalker160 says:

    Ummmm, right yeah, I think I’ll skip this one. I MIGHT see it work when I have to reinstall windows next and have everything backed up.

    Does it only destroy like pictures/documents or videos or could it get into the .dll or system files too?

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