Lose/Lose - The Game That Deletes Your Files

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
Lose/Lose - The Game That Deletes Your Files

Screw Wargames: Lose/Lose is a little art game with an incredibly apt title - the only way to win, is not to play.


This is the sort of post that once upon a time would have been fodder for Alt+Escape [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/alt-escape], but I cannot in good conscience recommend that people actually play this game.

Lose/Lose is an art game that aims to instill in-game actions with real-life consequences. In real life, shooting somebody means that you've ended a life; you've broken a family or killed somebody's best friend, but in the game there's none of that effect - they're just little ones and zeroes, right? Lose/Lose attempts to do away with that - every time you shoot down an alien starship, the game will randomly and permanently delete a file (any file) from your hard drive. If you get shot down, the game will delete itself.

Here's what the creators had to say:

[blockquote]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?[/blockquote]

That's some heavy stuff right there. The game itself can be found here [http://www.stfj.net/art/2009/loselose/], with a list of the top scores (the best being someone who has vaporized 99 files on their computer), but again - and I cannot emphasize this enough - play this game at your own risk.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


Sixties Spidey

Elite Member
Jan 24, 2008
I can't imagine what kind of a dumbass would put that in their PC. What if it deletes System Files?


New member
Aug 16, 2008

I wonder who'd be stupid enough to do that...?

"Randomly delete a file"... Seriously?


New member
Apr 1, 2009
Hey kiddies lets play virtual Russian roulette! You guys are gonna love it! I swear!
*evil laughter emanates from the background*


New member
Mar 4, 2009
Sounds pretty and dickish of them, it's great that they want to make people question their role in things, however deleting stuff off a person's hard drive is only going to piss em off. Even still, great for trolling those naive enough to play.


New member
Jul 26, 2009
I'd totally partition a drive just to play this game. I could come up with 10k files that can be deleted easily.

Arbitrary Cidin

New member
Apr 16, 2009
Oh hey, this looks fun! Hey I got one, yeah! OH CRAP THAT WAS SYSTEM 32, WHAT DO I DO NOW?!?!?
But seriously, is it completely random files, or are some restricted?


New member
Jan 28, 2009
Maybe play it while emulating Windows? Partitioning a drive to play a single game seems a bit extreme


New member
Mar 18, 2009
Despite their whole philosophical/jack ass outlook on it is, this game is fucked up.

I'd like to show it to one of my douchebag friends though... Hmm...

EDIT: Speaking of which, with the consequences that it impeaches upon you, what is the fucking reward? Ultra-Super-Mega Porn?
This game is ass, and the guy who made it is an ass.


New member
Jan 14, 2009
When does the game end if you don't kill anything?

It's a very interesting concept, really.
Interesting thoughts behind it, and I do see what they mean.

Honestly, I know enough people that care more about a chance to kill a boss that may drop a piece of equipment that would (if they roll high enough) increase their mage's gearscore than going to a movie with the rest of their friends, which...to me, uh, well...

I understand, but I tend to blow off raids for things like that.

But like the article said - when does it switch? When does data matter more than real life experiences? Maybe if its your first time into Sunwell and your guild is disbanding in 2 days and the expansion is coming out in a week, and it would probably be the only time you would ever get to see the place? I don't know, I don't have a tangible line for people to blur, but I do find it odd when people in school with me talk about how they're proud of their gamerscore, achievements, their 30k gold on Laughing Skull, but I guess some people feel odd when they find out I have close-to-world-record scores in Crazy Taxi and SSX Tricky...

But I don't go out of my way and think that those mean much, but maybe they do? Maybe in the future being a virtual snowboarder will be just as great as being a real one?


Evil Overlord
Jul 29, 2009
I guess the people who made this forgot that you can lock down files on your computer so they cannot be deleted by a random application. I think they also forgot that you can restore data.

If I kill a real person there is no button or command that will bring that person back. On a computer on the other hand, that is entirely possible.

I think these guys failed.