This paper explores the contemporary fascination with artificial life and simulation. The concept of artificial life has broadened it reach from a rarefied speculative discipline to a phenomenon in popular culture and a fertile trope within the electronic arts. From its representation in the cinema, to virtual pets and tamagotchis, to advanced digital art, the essay examines the category of "life" in the age of digital simulation. Questions to do with artificial life range from the representation or incarnation of our "real" selves as avatars in digital spaces (such as computer games), to popular, artistic and scientific attempts to simulate autonomous life forms. In the context of digital art, the essay critically engages with the work of Australian artist Troy Innocent, in particular with his most recent installation, Artefact (2001). In Artefact, Innocent actively investigates the digital investment of life in avatars as they operate in an interactive game environment. In this work, Innocent prompts an intriguing, if troubling, question, central to the overall interests of this essay: what, in the age of digital simulation, is not alive?