A new piece of software developed by Fine Arts student Zach Gage is making waves in the security community.
As part of his Master of Fine Arts thesis project, Zach Gage wrote a game for Macs that deletes files from your machine as you play. Dubbed Lose/Lose, the title sees the player take on the role of a space captain on a "seemingly endless quest to destroy attacking aliens." Each alien is represents a file on your computer. Killing the alien means destroying that file. You have one life and if an alien touches you, you explode and the application will delete itself.
Describing the program as "a videogame with real life consequences," Zach says he tried to explore what it means to kill in a videogame. On his website, the student says that while touching the aliens will lose you the game and killing them will get you points, the aliens don't actually fire at you. "This calls into question the player's mission, which is never explicitly stated, only hinted at through classic game mechanics," writes Gage. "Is the player supposed to be an aggressor? Or merely an observer, traversing through a dangerous land?"
However exploratory, experimental or just interesting it seems, users are warned several times before they download and before they play that Lose/Lose will result in the permanent deletion of files from your hard drive and CNet reports that Symantec, Sophos and Intego have flagged the application as malware, with each of them calling the "Trojan" OSX.Loosemaque, OSX/LoseGame-A and OSX/LoserGame, respectively.
What do you think, malware or just harmful game? Let us know in the comments below!