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Mac Game/Trojan Wipes a File for Each Alien Killed

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!

  • sstym
    Clearly malware. Even if you warn them beforehand, the average user is very likely to ignore the warning, in this case because it is a game.
    Try sending people low power letter bombs that will merely damage their hands, but with a red letter warning that reads "Letter Bomb, open at your own risk". Someone is bound to open the letter at some point.
    Then good luck telling the judge it was a social experiment and you gave adequate warning.
    Reply
  • nforce4max
    Enjoy mac boys and girls you are now in the club.
    Reply
  • adaman2576
    lol. I wonder if he got an A.
    Reply
  • mindless728
    wow, i suddenly want to put mac OSX in a VM and play this game, once to get points, once to see how long i can dodge the aliens until i die
    Reply
  • What I would like to do is see if it would be possible to play without getting killed before all my files have been deleted and the OS crashes, sounds like fun to me, Brilliant piece of software really, and it is without a doubt electronic art in its purest form.

    And if you read the warnings and still play knowing full well it will delete your files then its your own fault and that is just tough luck for you.
    Reply
  • SneakySnake
    I tried it out on my MBP on little while ago ( I was wiping the HDD anyways). It does what he says, and its a sombering feeling knowing that the better you doing the worse off your computer/files are.
    Reply
  • amplexis
    Wait a second let me make sure I get this correct. Someone wrote a game for a Mac?!?
    Reply
  • copperbottoms
    What a ridiculously fartsy idea... Digital art??

    How does it possibly explore what it means to kill in a game? You aren't hurting other people like real killing, you're destroying your own computer. This is an exercise in masochism, not morality.

    A video game with real life consequences would harm others through the player's aggression and harm the player for being injured or destroyed etc. If you're going to try and simulate real life consequences at least pick a reasonable scenario.
    Reply
  • SneakySnake
    @ amplexis

    There's quite a few games for mac, its not like the Linux situation.
    Reply
  • Transmaniacon
    I bet there are plenty of Mac people out there who will disregard that warning because they think their Mac is immune to any viruses or malware...little do they know...
    Reply