Video Game Questions Your Ethical Standards While Deleting Files from Your Computer


(Video Link)


Zach Gage says that he created the free video game Lose/Lose to make people question their ethical assumptions. The game is similar to Space Invaders, but every time you kill an alien, the game deletes a randomly-selected file from your hard drive:

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?


Clicking on the link below will not download the game onto your computer and begin deleting your files. But it will give you the option to do so.

Link via Geekologie

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The whole thing isn't very well thought through is it? I read the first few sentences and thought: "So the point of this is that the player is being punished for using the weapon." And "Deary me, we're laying on the moral allegories a little thick here aren't we?"

Then I read the part about assuming that violence is being rewarded. Er, hello? It seem the author is the only person making that assumption.

Either the creator of the game isn't nearly as clever as they like to think, or they have made the same mistake as many slightly intelligent people in so far as they make assumptions about other people's intelligence and reasoning.

Sorry, but the vast majority of people can tell the difference between computer games and real life. And know full well that violence in real life has serious repercussions. Jeez, computer games are just for fun. Some people may take them seriously, but only for a certain value of "serious". Indeed some research has shown that children who regularly play violent computer games are less likely to use violence in real life. Presumably because those games have taught them the consequences of violence can be very serious.

So please, please take your cod psychology back to your bedroom until you can think of something truly insightful to say with it.
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This is a horrible idea. If a person doesn't understand that killing something has consequences, the deletion of files while playing a video game isn't going to make them understand.

There's also an underlying message that the designer of this 'game' believes that people who play games with violence in them confuse games with reality. This just isn't true - anyone who would confuse a game with reality is just confused about reality, game or not, and needs help.
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So, what's the point of this game again? To demonstrate how winning and losing are arbitrary concepts, and that winning isn't inherently better than losing?
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