Lose/Lose is a dangerous Joke Program game designed to run on Mac OS X systems. When played, each enemy killed by the player will delete a random file from the user's computer, of any kind (documents, games, applications, pictures, icons, users, videos, music, folders, shortcuts, and even important system files). It even skips the recycling bin, meaning that any infected file is just gone.
Versions of the game for Microsoft Windows have been released but they work differently. However, they can still delete important files on the user's computer, such as System32. When the user first enters the game, the game will warn them first about important files being deleted. All the text is highlighted in red or white font color. In the warning background, there are red dots on a black screen. Aliens will appear in blue, green, yellow, tan, pink, and other colors. The game will display text in the bottom square saying the user's name as well as documents. At the top it will say the score and points. The aliens have health bars that slowly go down when the user shoots at them.
When the game is loaded, the main screen states that the game deletes files to warn the player of what they are about to do. Once any key is pressed, the game will start, and the player will try to kill the aliens and earn points. However, it will delete files upon doing so by running rm -r on a random file. If the player makes it very far in the game, it has the potential to even delete system files, and prevent the system from booting upon next reboot, resulting in a prohibitory symbol or folder with a question mark, forcing the user to re-install the operating system.
- Owing to how the program runs, there is a chance it will delete itself while the user is playing, as its executable file isn't safe from the game's deletion mechanic.
- Running it on a virtual machine will stop it deleting files on the user's host computer if it has shared folders enabled and connected, even if it is Windows or Linux. It is possible to have the host operating system be destroyed if the game is run for long and it successfully deletes a startup file. This instead results in a kernel panic if the main operating system is a Linux, or an error screen if the main operating system is a Windows.
- Lose/Lose gained popularity after the popular YouTuber and Twitch streamer Joel from Vinesauce played the game in his Mac Destruction stream.
- Losing a life deletes the program itself from the computer, being the safest way of playing the game.
- An interview with Zach Gage and Intego explained that Gage actually made the game as part of an Australian digital art and Lose/Lose is meant to be taken in a philosophical manner.
- Over 200 players have had files deleted from their computer by the game.
- The user "avernus" obtained the high score for the game, killing 412 aliens.