“What if the Untitled Goose Game was your whole computer? Asked no one other than Sam Chiet until this week. Chiet, 18 years old, created an application for Windows PCs that spawns a virtual goose to wreak havoc on your desktop. Just like the game, this goose is annoying and will spread virtual mud all over your screen while honking profusely. It also drags memes or cartoons on top of your apps but don’t dare try to close them otherwise this wild bird will grab your mouse pointer and disturb you.
If you remember BonziBuddy from 1999, it sounds like that weird computer age, but way more boring and strangely adorable. If you let it run for 30 minutes, you’ll probably come back to your PC and find that the goose has gone really wild, spawning little notes that look like Microsoft’s Notepad app and lots of honking cartoons.
You can even customize Desktop Goose to add the images, GIFs, and memes you want the goose to drag across the screen and obstruct your view. If that’s not boring enough, you can hack the goose to adjust its aggressiveness and add MP3s that will open on startup. To have enough? Just hold down the Esc key to kick the goose out of your Windows PC.
Chiet created this app in a matter of days, just for fun. âI’m a huge fan of deliciously ridiculous things, and I hope that’s exactly what it is,â says Chiet. “It’s a little office ‘helper’ whose sole purpose is to interfere with your work, and people respond to it.”
It’s also a reminder of the gaudy internet age in the late 90s and early 2000s when Clippy bothered you or you could install apps like BonziBuddy. âIf you look back, that’s a pretty bad design by many standards (okay, literally all of them) today,â Chiet says. âBut I think they also had a lot more personality. And while what we have today is certainly very clean and usable software, I can’t help but feel Something was lost in this disinfection.
A modding community has now sprung up overnight since the app went viral, and people have created fan art and even used it on Twitch streams. âIt became something so much bigger creatively, I had no way of seeing it coming,â says Chiet. âSo my current mission is to empower all the people who do crazy stuff with it. “
If you have always dreamed of a virtual goose harassing you all day long, you can download the Desktop Goose application from the Chiet website.
Update, January 30, 11:05 a.m.ET: Article updated with comments from app author Sam Chiet.