Being a fairly computer-friendly crew, I am sure many readers will remember the venerable Windows 3.1 operating system. Many will also be likely to remember the greatest game ever produced for that OS: SkiFree, created by Chris Pirih. The game was notable not for graphics or gameplay (your little sprite would descend ski tracks of various varieties, avoiding obstacles) but because of how it ended. Without fail or exception, the player would always be devoured by a yeti after skiing far enough.
Now, the video game that cannot be won has a long history. There is no beating Tetris – only delaying failure – and the same is true for an enormous number of relatively simple games, which generally become faster and more difficult as they progress. The most addictive contemporary example is probably Bejeweled. The choice to end SkiFree through the fangorious devouring of the player was a particularly bold and, dare I say, brilliant move. Indeed, it is the only reason I have the slightest recollection of having played it.
My experience with this game may also partly explain why I continue to find Yetis such amusing creatures.