Apex Legends:Happy Birthday Song Challenge

by | Nov 12, 2023 | Artwork #3: Intervene

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.