Month: November 2023

Apex Legends:Happy Birthday Song Challenge

Requirments: Any device that can play apex legends

For my Intervene project, I had chosen the battle royal first person shooting game Apex Legends as my subject of intervention. In this game, I when to both the battle royal mode and team death match mode. In this game, people barely turns on their microphone before the game actually started. So in the beginning of every match, I typed something like:”Hi guys, its my birthday today, can yall sing happy birthday to me?”  I would like to see how my teammates react to my request. I want to interfere with their gaming experience through such seemingly unreasonable demands. At the same time their response interferes with my gaming experience and the results of my experiment. So I played around 10 matches in total and I only edit the 5 games out of it, because it seems like no one actually cares about their temmates birthday or they just ignore my request. Some of them did response but instead of singing the happy birthday song they typed Happy birthday in the chat. However in one match there was someone who actually sangs happy birthday song to me, I was so impressed.

Artist statement:

I embarked on an unconventional artistic intervention in a game world where strategy, skill, and quick reflexes are the main elements in a tense and exciting apex legends matchup. My project was unassuming but impressive, causing my teammates to pause in their pursuit of a game win to participate in a birthday sing-along in honor of my birthday.
The purpose of this intervention was to inject humanity and joy into every competitive and stressful online multiplayer game. It challenges the conventions of gaming interaction, blurring the lines between the battlefield and the shared space of celebration.

At the same time I see it as an exploration of human connection in the digital world, where the act of singing Happy Birthday is one that is universally recognized as a symbol of joy and solidarity, turning the digital battlefield into a vehicle for celebrating my birthday. I think this is similar to the work “Rope” in that my teammates are strangers matched through a computer algorithm, and they are not obligated to sing along with me for my birthday. rope’s idea is also to challenge the idea of how people get along with each other, and to forcefully bind two people together in a certain way (they use rope, I use the birthday song). The idea of rope is also to challenge different people to get along with each other in a certain way (they use a rope, I use a birthday song), and to accomplish seemingly impossible challenges until they reach a certain state of harmony, where human emotions can be transmitted to each other in the most unlikely of circumstances. What these two projects have in common is that they challenge the traditional way of being together, both in life and in games.

Find The Strongest Heart:


computers with Overwatch

Something can measure heart rates/ blood pressure (apple watch, phone…)

need 2-3 players


Players need to measure their heartbeats before and after a regular Overwatch competitive gameplay. Use the heart rates after minus the heart rates before to get the current score of players. The player with the lowest score wins the game.

Artist statement:

Overwatch is a toxic game that often leads players to experience heightened emotions during the gameplay. Defeats in the game can trigger frustration and anger. As they get rages, their blood pressure or heart rates may increase. Therefore, the person with the lowest score could be considered as the calmest. By rewarding the player who maintains the lowest increase in heartbeats, this game encourages players to stay calm and despite the toxic gaming environment. It challenges the notion that winning or losing a match is the only measure of success in gaming and suggests that emotional control is equally valuable.

Before playing:

second round:

lose the game:

After losing for all night! (still the same heart rate)


I tried to borrow my friend’s watch, but we got some time conflict so I can only use the app on my phone to measure the heartbeat instead. I played this game several times myself. But measuring with my phone didn’t work as I expected. My heartbeats were 76 before playing. However, when I measured the heartbeat after an annoying and frustrating round, it was still around 80. I tried a few times and played four games in total, but the heartbeats just stick with 70 – 80. Maybe in the future, I could try to measure the heartbeats with other equipment. I found this game shares some similarities with Yoko Ono’s cut piece in that both projects explore vulnerability and emotional states. While “Cut Piece” focuses on physical vulnerability through cutting clothes, this game focuses on emotional vulnerability while playing Overwatch. On the other side, because Overwatch is such a toxic game to play, the players may face emotional stress and strain. And that can connect to Chris Burden’s “Doomed” which challenges limits of the body and personal endurance


How to Make Friends on Valorant

For my project, I chose to intervene on a game of Valorant Deathmatch. Rather than determining success based on kills within the match, I would try to get other players to not kill me, whether it be they bad at the game, or they genuinely don’t want to kill me. Through my iterations, I realized that there are certain behaviors that I must adopt to get this message across. The first run that I have done with this idea didn’t go as well since the message didn’t seem to get across that I am trying to be a pacifist. After throwing myself in front of people with a melee weapon as well as use the in-game mechanics to get the point across. In the end, I even gained some people that ended up protecting me with in the match, killing others that would end up shooting at me.

Artist Statement:
The initial inspiration that I got for the project was from the Barbie Liberal Organization that was shown in class. I found it intriguing that altering the standards for a Barbie doll could lead to a message being pushed across as well as bring joy to those that comes into contact with it. Generally, activist movements tend to receive some form of backlash from the community, but BLO seemed to sparked more laughter compared to the anger that I was anticipating. I wanted to spark this joy within the FPS community, which is known for the toxicity and the negative player-base. By bringing this little wholesome moment to the game without any expectations, I hoped that I would be able to remind others that the experience of fun that players can have is up to them.
The behavior that I adopted to get the point across to other players was that similar to Yoko Ono’s cut piece. It was meant to make myself seem vulnerable to others within the game, that my intention is not to follow the standards that they are used to. By letting my fate be decided by other players within the game, it was fun to see how varied the reactions were. Some were caught off guard at first and decide to play along, while others killed me anyways.
Overall, it seemed that my point to bring fun back into the genre worked as it seemed like the players that played along enjoyed the concept enough to continue with it for the entirety of the match. If I were to bring this into other FPS games or game modes within Valorant, I hope to be able to keep the idea that winning or losing the game wouldn’t matter as long as the players are having fun within the game. As a result, by making these team-based games to be as enjoyable to others should be more prioritized as opposed to relentlessly putting others down for the self-satisfaction that one is better at the game compare to others.

Clips from playtests of this project:

Steal the Beat

All players start with the same 30 second music video clip. The first one to upload it to YouTube without their copyright detection recognizing the song wins. They may use any means necessary to do so – distorting the video, distorting the audio, rerecording parts of it, renaming the upload, etc. Anything is fair game as long as the clip stays recognizable.
You will likely need a 3rd party judge to determine if the video clips are intact enough to be valid.
When you are done, share your strategies in hushed whispers where YouTube and copyright holders cannot hear.

To playtest this game, I played it single-player with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. You can see my results in the video below.

Each attempt took about 10 minutes to render and export, and YouTube recognized the copyrighted material in attempts 1 and 2 in less than 20 seconds. Whether or not my third attempt counts as “intact” is up to your interpretation.


Artist’s Statement:

This game ended up significantly harder than I expected. To start, you can only even play it if you have the software and knowledge to edit video and audio sufficiently. I used Adobe Premiere in my playtest, but it could be possible with entirely free software as well. Once you actually do find some players and start, the game is very slow. Waiting to render and export every attempt becomes tedious quickly. As you can see in the video, I had to distort the audio and obscure the video very severely to be able to upload it. The game may be easier if you play with a less popular song, where the copyright is enforced less harshly.

I was inspired by Jennifer Gradecki and Derek Curry’s intervention in algorithms and computer systems. Their artwork is very concerned with algorithms and data processing, and how they are applied and misapplied in our modern era. I am fascinated with copyright, and have seen various creators on YouTube employ different strategies to play short relevant clips of copyrighted material in their videos. I figured this copyright dodging could make an interesting creative game. There are many ways to go about avoiding YouTube’s copyright detection, but in practice you realize how difficult a task it can truly be.

Part of what I wanted to do with this was to teach players how to get around YouTube’s system, and help them firsthand understand what makes YouTube stop recognizing the copyrighted material. This desire to teach is also why I urge players to spread the information they learned, without telling copyright holders. I think the current systems of copyright and its enforcement are detrimental to art, and the allocations of fair use are insufficient. I wanted to subvert this system and intervene in it. By playing the game on YouTube, players directly interface with perhaps the most-used copyright enforcement algorithm on the entire internet. One thing the game does very well is show how difficult it is to subvert YouTube’s automatic detection. When copyright laws were written, such algorithms did not exist, and copyright infringement had to be enforced on a case-by-case basis. This was slower, but allowed more edge cases to slip through the cracks. Nowadays, there is no way to slip through unnoticed when YouTube checks every video for copyrighted content. Sometimes the copyright holder chooses not just to take any monetization on the video, but to block it entirely. Jennifer Gradecki and Derek Curry’s Boogaloo Bias artwork (among several of their other works) is very concerned with false positives in automatic detection algorithms. This is a huge issue in YouTube’s copyright detection system that I wish my game did more to address. Perhaps one could play to try and twist one song to be recognized as another, but that is a game for another day.

A Critique on Grades

For this project I wanted to design an experience that would make the people participating break their typical behavior. Through schooling we are taught in a way to pass test, not in a way that teaches us things for long term memory. I wanted to create a test that would incentivize the users to abandon the exam for some other behavior, so I created an image, like a “wheres waldo” where the test takers had to memorize things in the image then answer questions about it. (see images and quiz below).

Because creating the image would take quite a while, the first iteration of this project for me was playtesting the idea with other people. I explained the concept of my project and wanted their input for if they thought it would actually work. From the few people I described it to, they agreed that it was an interesting idea however many people expressed concern that people would be unlikely to take the action I expected. I agreed and considered what I could do to make this idea more obvious but still subtle enough that it would still be the playtesters on choice to take action. I decided that I would test this on my roommates and depict our house in the image so they were already familiar with it. I showed a candy bag in the kitchen in the image and the test takers in the living room.

I noted to the players before the start of the “exam” that only the person with the best score would get a piece of candy. Despite the playtesters noticing that the bag of candy was in the kitchen, after they had finished the ‘exam’ they explained that the thought of leaving the “testing room” would never have crossed their mind, nor do they think there was anything I could have done to change their behavior.
One funny note, one of the testers was so conditioned by exams that they put their name at the top of the page despite me not adding that as a prompt on the exam page.  (there were only two of them and they were writing in different colors)

Ultimately, I think most people would show the same behavior as my roommates did if placed in the same position. However, despite this intervention failing, in some ways I think that it actually is more successful because it failed, showing the testers how schools have conditioned them in such a way.

This artwork was somewhat inspired by the Barbie/G.I. Joe swap, in that some experiences are not always as you expect them to be from their surface image. Like the Barbie/G.I. Joe swap, I wanted to create an interaction with the users that would make them reconsider their behavior with familiar items/experiences, and hopefully make them see these experiences differently in the future.

Image given to testers:

the testers studying the image:

the testers taking the test:

Quiz questions:

  1. who is in charge of the “bath” chore?
  2. who is currently #4 on the leaderboard?
  3. how many carrots are in the image?
  4. what day of the week was the 1st of the month?
  5. What is the current time in 24 hour time?
  6. Where is the bed located in Anna’s Room? Give your answer in cardinal directions.


Social Media Intervention

The Process:
Check your screen time on your phone for the last week. Download the app Unpluq (black and yellow logo) and make an account. It will ask questions about your schedule, phone usage, as well as a choice to pick two apps to put blocks on. Choose the two social media apps that you use most (for example mine is instagram and tik tok so I chose those). Choose the time you regularly/usually go to bed during the week and block those apps one hour before that. This will prevent you from going on your social media apps as much right before you sleep as well as right when you wake up. Give yourself an hour/30 minutes before checking your phone when you wake up as well as when you go to sleep. Also, change your phone to black and white. Since everything on your phone has certain colors to catch your attention, making them black and white will make it less likely for you to click on something and get distracted with it. This should prevent screen time with high usage. You can find how to do this in your phone’s settings. With these changes your screen time should be down from the previous and you should notice a lot of changes with how you spend your time. While you catch yourself in a moment like this, write down on a piece of paper or in your notes about some new things you accomplished or did as a result of not being on your phone. At the end of the week, check your screen time and compare it to what it was last week. Hopefully it went down and hopefully you realize how toxic and unhealthy social media is and how long you spend on it.


The results:

For this intervention, I wanted to intervene in people’s daily lives and how they regularly use their phones and social media. I got inspiration from Chris Burden who was willing to put his health on the line in order to create his artwork. I decided I wanted my intervention to be something drastic like how Chris Burden did his work so I decided to hit our generation in its weak spot, taking away our social media. Of course, it was not nearly as physically dangerous as Chris Burden’s work but it was still mentally difficult to stay disciplined. So, I got a group of 6 people (roommates and suitemates) and gave them the above information. I encourage everyone reading to partake as well. They decided to do this for the week and see how it impacted their screen time as well as their day to day lives. I got tremendous feedback from my friends and they said it was an eye opening experience. All of their screen times went down by at least two hours, some even more. One of my friends decided to go rock climbing at the local gym in Fenway since he was not on his phone all day. Another one of my friends enrolled in a spikeball tournament and won with another one of my friends. They all found better alternatives in their lives rather than being glued to their screen all day. They also said their sleep schedule improved after a rough first few days since they were not used to going to sleep without their phone. Once they got over the first few days, it was easy to fall asleep since they accomplished a lot more throughout the day and were tired from it.

Intervention Project: Friendly Fire

For my intervention project, I chose to intervene in the gameplay of Overwatch 2, specifically creating a game within the boundaries of the original game to completely ignore the already established goal. In my game, instead of pushing the payload or claiming the objective, your goal as the player is to sneak into the enemy team’s backlines to befriend as many players on the enemy team as you can. This directly contradicts the objective the original game has set up for you, as the only feasible way you can win a game of overwatch is by killing the enemy team as often as possible. My game further intervenes with Overwatch because in all of Overwatch’s existence, the game has been infamous for hosting a primarily negative and mean player base. Players take the game too seriously, they are not here to make friends, they are here to win. MY game does the exact opposite of this – you don’t win by winning the game, you win by making friends.

My project takes some inspiration from Yoko Ono’s cut piece, to provide some sense of vulnerability to the player and leaving the fate of their game up to the reactions of the other players. I wanted to try and show that making friends was harder, yet more rewarding, than making enemies, and put that idea in the context of a game. By letting my game be decided by other players, it proved to be a lot of fun to see the varying reactions from these people I didn’t know.

My results:

I initially expected very minimal success in my attempts to make friends with the enemy team, but I was pleasantly surprised to find many people were willing to throw the game with me. In every game I played, I was able to find at least one person from the other team who was willing to say hello and never attack me when I approached. However, for every one person willing to spam voice lines with me in the backlines, there was always at least one person on either my team or the enemy’s who would tell me off or attack me. Still, it was a much more divisive split between friendly/non-friendly players that I encountered while playing my intervening game. A nice side note I encountered was that in every game, I got at least 2 endorsements from the random people I played with each game! So while I might have lost every single game I played with this new ruleset, I made plenty of friends.

Link to the presentation:

Hidden Blocks can be Fun!

Artists Statement:

For this project, I started by asking myself if there was any existing process or idea in this world that I wanted to change or go against. This proved to be quite a difficult task at first. There are many things that I wish could change but a lot of them felt extremely serious or I struggled to grasp how I would come up with an idea for a game from it. That is when I asked my friends what they were thinking of doing. Jonathan mentioned that he was thinking of using Mario Maker for his project. That’s when my idea hit me! I love watching and playing difficult Mario levels, known as Kaizo levels in the community. Kaizo levels are extremely prominent because of their difficulty and because of a concept that has been lovingly dubbed the “Kaizo Block.” Kaizo Blocks are hidden “?” Blocks are infamous in the community because they are purely meant to troll players and impede progress. They often find themselves in places where players feel safe to jump so they will try, hit the block, and fall into a pit. They can also be used to supplement bad level design by serving as an invisible wall to prevent players from doing something unintended. These terrible traits are what made the concept so infamous to the point that players sometimes will not finish a level if they hit a Kaizo Block. The Kaizo Block rightfully feels like it should be a concept that stays in the dumpster, right? That is when my idea came in, what if I could show people that they are fun? After all, Kaizo Blocks are just hidden blocks that can be used as a tool. That kicked off my journey to find a way to make hidden blocks fun, which ended up being extremely difficult. Throughout the process, I was inspired by “Spacewar.” When I was in high school, I had the chance to play “Space War” against someone while Steve Russel watched. That experience and the story behind it have always been an inspiration to me. He was able to take something that people had one intended way of using, in this case, the university computer, and turn it into something fun that would spawn communities around the world. I wanted to also change the Kaizo Block from a dreaded part of a level into something that the community would find fun. Another inspiration was the switched Barbie and GI Joe dolls. The idea of shifting what everyone was used to while also making a commentary on the state of the medium appealed to me. This project was an intervention because it was posted to the community and anyone in the game can randomly run into the level or choose to play it. I wanted to do this because often players who see hidden blocks will quit the level, but if they tried my level they would hopefully find the fun and beat it.


Documentation / Process:

As I mentioned above this process was a difficult one. The level went through a lot of different iterations as I learned more about what I could not do with hidden blocks. It turns out that they were way more limited than I thought when I started. I tried to make a bunch of interesting contraptions with horizontal moving Thwomps and Kaizo-style difficulty, but I swiftly realized that I was being limited by the Hidden Block. Next, I tried shifting over to the New Super Mario Bros. theme to make a simple level but around ground pounding the hidden blocks. That did not work either because of the limitations of the hidden block. I was ready to throw in the towel when I was hit with an idea. Since I can only hit a hidden block from below, what if I up-toss a shell? I tried it in the Super Mario World theme and it worked… sort of. It didn’t work the way I expected but it did make the hidden block visible. I could work with this concept. That spawned the level that I ended up posting. The basic concept of the level is that there are two sub-areas. The first has all the blocks visible but needs a key to open a door, the second has all hidden blocks and the key. Players have to get the key and open the door to finish the level.

The level can be found while playing randomly online or by typing the code: 1VB-XP3-NQF

I was shocked by the results of my level! Within half a day, my level was played by 12 community members, had 120 attempts, had 2 comments, and 1 like! Random people were playing my level and at least 1 person enjoyed it! There were a few metrics that I did not expect though. The clear rate was 6.66% and the world record completion time was 5.65 seconds. This meant that the majority of people still found the level difficult and that people were beating the level in an unintended way. This initially made me disheartened until I remembered my inspirations. I was inspired by Kaizo levels and intervention art. 5.65 seconds is seemingly impossible unless you do Kaizo-level tricks like a shell jump. That is cool because people were finding the fun and the level was difficult like a Kaizo level should be. Additionally, this brought an interesting detail to my attention. Sr Depreso had the world record on my level. I don’t know too much about them but I know they are a prominent Mario Maker 2 level creator, with one of their levels being featured in a Watch Mojo video. That meant that my intervention had worked!



Reddit Moment™: The Social Experiment™

Rules and Gameplay

The rules and directions for this game is very simple:

  1. Navigate to the subreddit r/Askreddit
  2. Identify a new or rising post asking a question that pertain to opinions, personal anecdotes or anything not about factual information or hypothetical situations
  3. To the best of your ability and using any available tools or resources, reply to the post (ideally using a burner account) with a completely fabricated yet convincing and seemingly genuine answer
  4. Wait a day and return to your comment and see how much upvotes your fake post have accrued

Artist’s Statement

While most of the examples we saw in tactical media that relates to the internet are somewhat dated, the social commentary they sent are still as relevant now as ever: the uncertainty of who is on the other end, the murky nature of the truthfulness of anything you see online, and just how easy it is for it to be subverted or compromised without you noticing. With those elements in mind, I chose my intervention to take place on reddit, a (mostly) anonymous online forum that frequently see the three previously mentioned elements at play. Reddit is known for its users’ (redditors) hive-mind like echo chambers, and an elitist, know-it-all and often very hypocritical attitude on every subject and opinion imaginable. One thing that especially stands out is that redditors often point out the flaws of other social media sites – that they are riddled with spam and bots, promote misinformation, use pervasive algorithms, have ineffective moderation – to assert how much superior reddit is, even though it suffers from the same problems.

There are many subreddits where users can post questions or personal stories for answers, discussion or advice, and all of them are infamously known to contain made up stories, reposts, incorrect “facts”, “baits“ designed to spark outrage or to farm upvotes, and some combinations of the above. Yet for many of these posts, often despite being called out, still get enough upvote to be pushed onto the front page. My game/experiment seek to contribute by fanning the flames of this problem to see just how easy it is to make things up and to fool others, so I chose to conduct this game on r/Askreddit, one of the largest community on the website with over 40 million users and posts regularly getting tens of thousands of upvotes. There is no limit to what or how you create your response to a post, including copying someone else’s reply to a similar question from a long time ago, to using AI such as chatGPT to generate answers – both have become increasingly common on the website.

Other than the often repeated “don’t trust everything you read online” bit, the other problem I want to raise – which of course also isn’t exclusive to reddit – is the nature of these kinds of online content and how we are consuming them: as most of the posts and replies are about opinion or personal anecdotes, how much do we really care about the authenticity of them? Are we reading these posts to genuinely engage with others’ opinions, or are we just reading for a quick laugh? All of us are ultimately vulnerable to misinformation, yet we still have to place some amount of intrinsic trust into other strangers online – no matter how much we tell ourselves “don’t believe everything”. And since some of the things we see and read may never be truly verified, what do we make of this fact?


Unfortunately the result of this game/experiment is mixed, as none of the posts got anywhere near a large amount of upvotes and barely any engagement. This is somewhat expected however, as luck plays a massive role in whether your reply or the post you replied to “takes off”. Repeat enough times, it is almost certain one of the posts will make it to the top.

The most successful posts:


talking about the dangers of garage door springs is a reddit classic that pops up in every single thread that asks a question like this one

this lengthy reply is almost completely copied verbatim from under another similar question months ago, and it also got a reply!

other completely made up scenarios

Green Heaven – Treasure Hunter

This game is a treasure hunting game that tries to strengthen the importance of green spaces in cities, and intervene with urban planning, lack of green spaces, and the prioritization of commercial and residential developments over public parks and recreational areas. Every treasure location will be a green area in downtown Boston. The treasure will be plant’s seeds which can somehow motivate players to take more care of the urban environment and try to intervene with it by growing plants on their own in the city. This Game will be a long term game that will last either 3-7 days fully online via social media such as Discord channel or Group DMs. The GM (me) will post hints everyday on social media, including a screenshot on the general green area of where the treasure is, and 2-3 pictures shot from the POV of the location of treasure. The idea of fully virtual and no NPC is involved in person was inspired by the game Uncle Roy All Around You, but the ultimate goal of this game is about helping environment instead of helping random strangers.

The initial idea was inspired by Pac Manhattan where is conducted and intervening in downtown city. It was only a 1 day treasure hunt event and it will take multiple stops to reach the final treasure. However, I feel like making it a long term event will better strengthen the importance of green space since it encourages players to visit a green area to seek treasure and receive different plant’s seeds everyday. Moreover, instead of giving a set of instructions of where to go, giving a general area and some visual hints will be more fun to play from a player perspective, because this creates more affordances for players to move on their own rather than simply following instructions.

DAY1 Hints

DAY2 Hints

DAY3 Hints

Unfortunately, I only had 1 playtester for one of the daily treasure hunts. This seeking part is definitely fun and not too difficult, but the reward may seem a little unsatisfying since it basically plants. Perhaps adding more rewarding treasures on to plant’s seeds will intrigue more players to join this game.

Where the treasures are: