Lose/Lose is a video game by Zach Gage that plays like a regular space shooter, but with a twist. Each alien is tied to a file on your hard drive, and killing that alien deletes that file. If, however, the aliens destroy your ship, the game itself is deleted from your computer.
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. 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?
If you want to play the game, you can download it here. I’m perfectly happy with the statement it makes without playing it though. By the way, the video above is just a video, and won’t hurt your computer.