Game or Trojan? You're Not the Judge

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The folks at Symantec have looked right past the artistic intent behind Lose/Lose, a computer game that deletes your files every time you shoot an alien, because they've just classified the game as a Mac Trojan.

Lose/Lose is described by its creator as "a game with real life consequences." It's a standard space shooter in the spirit of Galaga, except that each alien is assigned to a file on your hard drive. Blast the alien, and the file is gone forever, for real. Getting hit by an alien crashes the game, never to be played again. Here's what creator Zach Gage says about the project:

"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?"

When I read about the game on Make a couple months ago, I chuckled at the concept, watched the video and wisely skipped trying the game for myself.

Symantec, on the other hand, dubbed the game a Trojan, gave it a name ("OSX.Loosemaque") and created a threat assessment. Most amusing is how Symantec employee and blogger Ben Nahorney acknowledges Gage's intent: "What's interesting is that the author of this ‘game' flat-out says what it does on his Web site," Nahorney writes. "Reading through the author's description, it seems that he has created this game/threat as some sort of artistic project."

Still, Nahorney follows with a valid point, that someone with truly bad intentions could modify Lose/Lose's code and distribute a game that doesn't pronounce its file-deleting capabilities outright. So next time you download some obscure, simplistic alien-shooting game from the Internet, consider yourself warned.

This story, "Game or Trojan? You're Not the Judge" was originally published by Technologizer.

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