Recent times have seen some crazy and even downright absurd games. One good example is Goat Simulator, which enabled players to take control of a goat and cause mayhem.
Then came Rock Simulator, an incredibly entertaining game for nobody, where players can immerse themselves in the life of a rock. Sitting, standing, perhaps occasionally rolling, but mostly doing nothing.
The bar has been set, but one programmer, Zach Gage, took it to the next level of absurdity with "Lose/Lose" - a game where scoring points actually gets files on your computer permanently deleted.
It's reminiscent of an old Atari game where you take control of a pixelated 2D spacecraft and shoot down alien space ships. The catch, however, is that for every alien space ship you destroy, a file on your computer is also destroyed. The files that are selected for deletion are randomly picked, which could include vital system files.
Here's what the game's author says about it on the game's website:
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?