apology hero

tl;dr i designed and built a karaoke-styled apology simulator over the last 2.5 weeks and you can play it at https://apologyhero.glitch.me/

i made a game and here is why

a few weeks ago i had a video call with mark vigeant, host of the monthly internet+comedy show, internet explorers, to start to kind of brainstorm what i should present at the august show themed around youtube. i had two (2) inspiration blockers:

1. i am not a youtuber

see, i am not a youtuber because being a creator on that platform seems to suck and also i weirdly hate being in front of a camera. when i worked at the university, my department chair wanted me to make online tutorials and naturally i took the directive super well:

2. people say really fucking rude shit about me in comments on videos of my conference talks

there are dozens of my conference talks on youtube and many of them have the comments on? in this economy???? yesterday morning for my talk i decided to look at some and, well, these were in response to a talk i gave about a FU*KING ALGORITHM:

mean youtube comments

so yeah youtube is not great unless, it turns out, you're one of the several wildy popular young adults with a dark, racist past (probably present too, let's be honest). if you fit that mold, then you can make a lot of money off of my favorite (and at the same time, least favorite) genre of youtube videos...

youtuber apologies

youtuber apology thumbnails

youtuber apology videos are unconvincing emotional roller coasters that are typically way too long, i'm assuming only to game the youtube algorithm for maximum adsense revenue. i am convinced that the majority of them are publicity stunts and, to be honest, i LOVE a good grift.

so, after my call with mark, i decided to try to watch as many apology videos as i could (i could only honestly get like 1 minute in to either of them) and try to make my own apology video.

but then i hit two more blockers:

1. i am not a youtuber

we've been over this, but anyway here i am with a shovel taped to my ex-boyfriend's bike:

2. i've never had to apologize for anything in my life

so i did what any other engineer would do when they wanted to learn something, i wrote a youtuber apology simulator so i can both play a game and learn how to apologize unconvincingly for profit.

announcing, apology hero: the game

apology hero

apology hero is like guitar hero but for apologizing. you read an apology out loud while the game throws emotions at you that you have to express or else you'll........not get a high score (this is my first game ever and i designed & built it in 2.5 weeks so i didn't think too much about mechanics and backstory lol).

apology hero screenshot

it's open source on glitch so you can see it uses facial recognition which is.......hella fraught, i know. the same tech is used to surveil everyone and oppress marginalized people. using machine learning as a tool for good is not (yet?) like how knives can be used to cut food but also to stab people – like, no one is denying people get stabbed, as people are denying that the government is using broken tech to harm society. and if you play this game, you'll see how shitty facial recognition works!!

also, as i mentioned earlier, i've never had to apologize for anything in my life, so i had my pal jamie brew, of botnik, help me out with some human + ai generated apologies. what a pal! here's my sweet summer child as a young boy, being held by a young jamie:

young jamie plus a lizard

pls don't like + subscribe

i hope you have fun playing my oddly engineered karaoke machine for apologizing. again, you can view the source on glitch and remix it to add your own apologies. if you make a great apology, please share it and perhaps i'll add it to the canonical game!! or maybe i won't!!

sorry not sorry,
j$