Double Fine: Video Games ‘Don’t Need Permission’ to Be Art

NOTE: This is a portion of an interview from a five-part video series with Wil Wheaton. Watch the rest of the interview here, and check out Game Front’s E3 Channel for more news, previews and Wil Wheaton videos!

The Supreme Court recognizes video games as art. The greater game-playing community generally considers games as art. The longer time goes on, the more the argument is shifting, suggesting that the medium is maturing and finding its place among other media.

But maybe that’s a stupid discussion to even be having. Ask Double Fine’s Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert, and you’ll find a couple of guys who think the whole thing is a moot point.

“I dunno, I feel like, we think it’s art when we make it … I think it’s art. I think most people who play them mostly think it’s art, if they think about it at all, so I think that’s kind of the end of the argument,” said Schafer, speaking to Game Front video host Wil Wheaton at E3 2012.

“I’m sure there was a time when movies first started that they weren’t considered art, and it’s not like movies went to the world of literature and said, ‘Please, could you say that we’re art?’” he said. “They didn’t ask permission from fine painting, they just did what they did and they took it seriously, and that’s where people started considering it art.”

Gilbert echoed the sentiment, noting that whether he considers his games, or any other games, to be art has nothing to do with the opinions of others.

“If you don’t think that video games are art, that’s fine, don’t think that they’re art,” Gilbert said. “I do and a lot of other people do.”

Be sure to check out the rest of our series of Wil’s interviews with developers from E3 2012, including with Skyrim’s Todd Howard, Robert Bowling of Robotoki, Far Cry Lead Writer Jeffrey Yohalem and CD Projekt Red execs Marcin Iwinski and Adam Badowski.

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3 Comments on Double Fine: Video Games ‘Don’t Need Permission’ to Be Art


On June 21, 2012 at 11:35 am

Why the big focus on art?

A Urinal presented at an art show is art, random items placed in pattern on a table top is art, giant boulder sitting on top of a trench is art.

Being “art” really isn’t all that glorious or prestigious. There are very few good art and near infinite amount of bad art.


On June 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Agreed. Someone wants to argue about whether something is art to me, I show them the crap that looks like a 3 year old found some paint cans. I tell you that some old dead guy did it and suddenly it’s a masterpiece.


On June 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

It ain’t art unless you see it as art, simple as that. The ending to ME3 isn’t art it’s a pile of crap, and some people would consider piles of crap to be art.