Posted on August 2, 2007,

Take-Two: "We Make Art for Adults"


Video games as art for adults? Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two Interactive Chariman, had some compelling words for readers in a recent interview with The Mercury News. But I think he’s noting a misconception that we gamers have known needs to change, that false notion that adults don’t play video games.

“We are not making these games for kids. These games are not intended to be sold to children,” he said in the interview. “I have a strong philosophy about interactive entertainment having spent my whole career in entertainment. We are not just in the business of making entertainment. We are in the business of making art.”

And WOW, video games as art! That is quite a bold statement, but one that this author agrees with wholeheartedly. I think the misconception of video games as being for kids is not only putting caps on what game developers can make, but it’s also keeping the medium from being fully realized as an art form.

Comic books didn’t quite make the jump. There are many who have successfully embraced them, but I think that a lot of people still laugh behind those rather awkward individuals whose comic book collections take up large sections of warehouse space. Regardless, I think video games are successfully merging into the adult markets, albeit slowly.

“Our average consumer is age 33. Just by demographics, the video game business is becoming a broad based entertainment business. The growth reflects that. We’re a company that spends a lot of time appealing to that mature audience,” he said.

Hopefully that growth and broad entertainment base of which he speaks will keep expanding. I’d really love to see what happens when game creators with full artistic license and unlimited funding get behind abstract ideas which could become amazing, groundbreaking games.

via Mercury News

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1 Comment on Take-Two: "We Make Art for Adults"


On August 2, 2007 at 7:06 pm

I think we have to be careful what we say is for “adults.” I would assume he may mean something like GTA IV (just comes to mind because I see its been delayed :P )

Something with drugs, explosions, and/or gore are more often for the younger crowd. I don’t know if I’ve seen anyone who is 33 playing a GTA game, or any game that puts a lot of effort into the violence of the game.

What we call adult content is most often targeting (intentionally or not) those under 25. I fall into this group, and even I can see that. Heck, I know more people under 18 that would want to play a game with “adult content” than adults that would want the same thing.

That being said, I do think games are art. Not all art is painting and sculpture. Movies, liturate, and, yes, even comic books, are all art. Video games are as well.

My only qualm is with adding “for adults.” I think most games made for adults find more popularity with the younger crowd, and no matter if you’re talking about games with an M or AO rating exclusivly with this or not, games aren’t made just for adults.

It’s nice to know older people are gaming too, not just that “harcore” group that mostly isn’t out of college, but art is for everyone, not just adults.