Intervention Project: Friendly Fire

by | Nov 7, 2023 | Artwork #3: Intervene

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: