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Mac OS game deletes files

Mac OS game deletes files

The Lose/Lose game by artist Zach Gage deletes a file each time an enemy is killed - but claims to be art rather than malware.

A new Mac OS package which deletes user files has been added to the detection systems of many anti-virus programs, but there remains some controversy as to whether it represents malware at all.

The software in question is Lose/Lose, a game created by artist Zach Gage - described by iTWire as a "Space Invaders inspired game" created as part of an on-line art exhibition. However, this particular package has a twist which has brought it to the attention of anti-virus developers.

Rather than blasting harmlessly away at pixellated aliens, each enemy character represents a file located somewhere in the system - and when an alien is killed, the related file gets permanently deleted. While pacifism is an option - and the only way to get out of losing files - losing your life in the game results in Lose/Lose itself being erased.

Despite the clear warning on Zach's site which alerts people to the fact that files are going to be lost, anti-virus companies are classing the file as a malicious Trojan and updating their detection appropriately.

Gage describes the project as a method of "exploring what it means to kill in a video-game" as well as investigating "at what point [...] our virtual data become[s] as important to us as physical possessions," and asks of gamers "why do we assume that because we are given a weapon an[d] awarded for using it, that doing so is right?"

Despite the clear downside to playing Lose/Lose - and the difficulty of doing so should your anti-virus package keep un-installing it - the on-line high score table features users such as arvenus and BlueHawk who have both killed almost 5,000 enemies - with the corresponding loss of almost 5,000 files from their Mac OS X installation.

The big question: is it art, or is it malware? Have your say over in the forums.

32 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
javaman 30th October 2009, 10:13 Quote
Pays to read the small print I guess! I guess theres a moral behind this game then, probally killing things leads you to loosing a little part of yourself
DragunovHUN 30th October 2009, 10:15 Quote
This man is a genius. I'd definitely try that game if i had a Mac.
do_it_anyway 30th October 2009, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
losing your life in the game results in Lose/Lose itself being erased.

Where theres a simple solution.

On a side note, I love that all the smug people saying you don't need anti virus on a mac, are now being targetted. Even if it is"in the interest of art"
Casefan 30th October 2009, 10:22 Quote
Seems like a fun way to delete your files I've your moving to a better OS. :P
Radical_Monkey 30th October 2009, 10:23 Quote
Definately art, if it states that it will delete your files then you have only yourself to blame. But I must say, that is an interesting way to look at the world of gaming, looks like there are still people who think outside the box.

Makes you think...and that is what art is meant to do right?
Jumeira_Johnny 30th October 2009, 10:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casefan
Seems like a fun way to delete your files I've your moving to a better OS. :P

you mean one with spell/grammar check?
Sim0n 30th October 2009, 10:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumeira_Johnny
you mean one with spell/grammar check?

Surely that should contain a capital "Y" on "you", as its the start of a sentence.

Back on topic.. What a great idea, as long as its CLEARLY stated (maybe before you start the game also), then I see no objection to this.
liratheal 30th October 2009, 10:54 Quote
Bahahahaha

That's brilliant!

Can we get an anti-virus system that lets you deal with virus' etc in the same way?
sub routine 30th October 2009, 11:13 Quote
crap, what a waste of time and energy.

It is a malware program that has been created for the purpose of artistic expression so it's both. Ultimately he's a fanny though and should really try to think of something a little more conceptually inspiring.
Rich_13 30th October 2009, 11:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sub routine
crap, what a waste of time and energy.

It is a malware program that has been created for the purpose of artistic expression so it's both. Ultimately he's a fanny though and should really try to think of something a little more conceptually inspiring.


Not really, we're talking about this arn't we?

I'd say that's a pretty clever way to get some attention. It's a lot of effort and not mainstream but it's interesting..
DeathAwaitsU 30th October 2009, 12:10 Quote
Errr, this IS available for PC too afaicr, it's somewhere on the net as i've come accross it before
MrWillyWonka 30th October 2009, 12:15 Quote
Use VMWare, make a copy of the bootable and play. Reinstate the bootbale if necessary...
Denithor 30th October 2009, 12:47 Quote
How about a game of Spyware Blaster anyone?
Brooxy 30th October 2009, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathAwaitsU
Errr, this IS available for PC too afaicr, it's somewhere on the net as i've come accross it before

It is - it's called Windows ME - instead of shooting things, files are deleted by pressing the power button :)

On a side note, and back on topic - if it has a clear disclaimer, then people that play it only have themselves to blame
TomD22 30th October 2009, 13:22 Quote
That's actually pretty cool. If you could just point it at a particular folder (temporary internet files) then you could blast away and know you weren't removing anything important.
Redbeaver 30th October 2009, 13:30 Quote
ill play it on a Mac, sure....
AngusW 30th October 2009, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Bahahahaha

That's brilliant!

Can we get an anti-virus system that lets you deal with virus' etc in the same way?

hahaha i don't usually pay for anti viruses (usually go with free versions) but if there was one like that i certainly would!
liratheal 30th October 2009, 14:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver
ill play it on a Mac, sure....

Would it be wise to assume you don't own a mac, and are infact talking about a Mac in an Applestore?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusW
hahaha i don't usually pay for anti viruses (usually go with free versions) but if there was one like that i certainly would!

Can't say I've even bothered with an A/V program for over a year now, but if someone did one like this, I too would part with cash for it.
B3CK 30th October 2009, 14:45 Quote
I would bet a multi-player version would be the next "Game of the year", for hardcore gamers. You would actually have incentive to beat the other player. Given that when shooting the bad guys, it deletes files on your opponents side.

***Edit***
As to the being placed on the malware list, would he be eligible for lawsuits? I mean it is clearly stated that it deletes files.

Joe, how about an article on how games with this type of ability could affect the future of gaming?
dyzophoria 30th October 2009, 16:22 Quote
it can delete something from a mac without you knowing? no!!, impossible!! OSX is teh best OS! :D
frojoe 30th October 2009, 16:59 Quote
Using this as an attack on OSX is really grasping at straws, no? It tells you what it does, its an nteresting game actually. If you need to troll apple based on this, get a life.

B3CK- That's a good idea actually, and you win when you destroy the file that is the game on your opponents computer.
scrimple3D 30th October 2009, 17:32 Quote
This, unfortunately, is very old..... like the idea of having a relationship between a process and an enemy character in a Unix port of Doom...... then going multiplayer and finding out which system is taken out first.

Still fun though.
HourBeforeDawn 30th October 2009, 18:16 Quote
huh I have to admit thats kinda cool
Furymouse 30th October 2009, 19:14 Quote
Quote:
"why do we assume that because we are given a weapon an[d] awarded for using it, that doing so is right?"

Because its a video game and therefore not real life so personal morals aren't necessarily an issue seeing as its all make believe?

Even though there is a disclaimer stating its purpose and consequences, how many people will read that? How many of us read the EULA of games we install?
liratheal 30th October 2009, 19:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furymouse
Because its a video game and therefore not real life so personal morals aren't necessarily an issue seeing as its all make believe?

Even though there is a disclaimer stating its purpose and consequences, how many people will read that? How many of us read the EULA of games we install?

I do. It makes good sense to know what the hell you're installing and what could and what couldn't be considered their fault.
ZERO <ibis> 30th October 2009, 20:23 Quote
Clearly people apply the morals of real life to games just like they do when they watch a movie. Oh wait I thought the point was entertainment... well clearly that and life are two different things.

I do not even know how to respond to something this stupid.
TWeaK 30th October 2009, 20:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Bahahahaha

That's brilliant!

Can we get an anti-virus system that lets you deal with virus' etc in the same way?

+1
LucusLoC 30th October 2009, 23:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furymouse
Quote:
"why do we assume that because we are given a weapon an[d] awarded for using it, that doing so is right?"

Because its a video game and therefore not real life so personal morals aren't necessarily an issue seeing as its all make believe?

Even though there is a disclaimer stating its purpose and consequences, how many people will read that? How many of us read the EULA of games we install?

+1

the only people who whine about violence in video games are the ones who don't understand it is entertainment. like judge whats his face calling it a "murder simulator." that is like calling a violent movie a "murder manual." are their real sickos who will go out and repeat what the see? yes there are, but they are messed up to begin with, and it realy only is a matter of time before they decide to kill anyway. best to be prepared in my oppinion.

as to the anti-virus people, i can understand theri anxiety. what if you had a "freind" who sent this to you and told you to play it? i mean come on, if you were going to play this and you actualy knew what it was, why would you even bother installing anti-virus? your going to hose your computere anyway. . . .

a multiplayer would be neat. i might be tempted to play in a sandbox or a VM, just for lols.

now if you'll excuse me, i have some mac snobs i am going to go make "freinds" with.
Furymouse 31st October 2009, 07:39 Quote
He he just thought of this. When something like this is made for Windows it's called a virus. When its made for Mac it's art.


I may be in need of sleep.
l3v1ck 31st October 2009, 12:25 Quote
A virus with clever marketing, nothing more, nothing less.
docodine 1st November 2009, 18:33 Quote
I wouldn't call it anything malicious, it clearly says what it does.

Clever game, but kinda stupid
mi1ez 2nd November 2009, 10:03 Quote
I hope Apple users aren't so confident about OSX that they never back-up.

Actually, it'll teach them a lesson.
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