When does a celeb apology become fine art? We find out with Apology Hero

“What is art?”

This is a question with many answers, but only one of them is scientifically correct: videos of famous vloggers apologizing. Not only is it an art, but the sheer amount of video apologies and what comes off as insincerity almost makes the output look generative. We love generative art here at Glitch!

For the August show of Internet Explorers, I was invited to present my expertise of the month’s theme, Youtube. As I have been cursed with being an extremely funny and talented web developer, it only made sense to build a game on Glitch to help myself and others learn what it is like to be a famous vlogger who has to apologize for something. Welcome to Apology Hero, the first ever apologizing sim.

In Apology Hero, you’re a vlogger who has to apologize for something. As you read off an apology, karaoke-style, the game shows emotions that you have to express. I’m using Tensorflow.js and face-api.js (cw: Big Bang Theory) to, with players permission, detect the players face and see if the emotion they are expressing matches what the game is telling them to express. If you can keep up with the wide range of emotions of an apology video, you get a high score!

Machine learning is cool, but you know what’s cooler? Writing your own apologies! Apology Hero comes pre-bundled with a couple of apologies written collaboratively by the humans and machines of Botnik Studios, but you can add your own by remixing Apology Hero on Glitch and then updating the apologies in the config/apologies folder in the editor, or adding your own files.

Once you’re settled with your options for apologies, you can do what I did and bring your entire company to a standstill one afternoon to play!