Fuck You, It's Art!

(Photo by the good people at Broken Rules)


There's only so much "art and games" discussion a human being can take! Sitting through a panel discussion at IndieCade 2009, the idea for a game called Fuck You, It's Art! popped into John's head. From there, the game pretty much designed itself. We fleshed out the idea over lunch and spent the day coming up with "prompts" for the game. It debuted the next night, to laughter abound.

Rules Overview

In Fuck You, It's Art!, players participate in a high-brow debate of low-brow culture, in an attempt to settle the age-old question, "Are videogames 'Art'?" Players compete to gain credibility (victory points) in the Art community by successfully arguing their case, voting with the majority, and choosing the right moments to be an iconoclast.

To begin, each player takes a set of three Voting Cards. Then, place the stack of Idea Cards in an area where everyone can reach, and assign one person as the scorekeeper (the player responsible for handing out victory points). All players should probably have a few drinks as well, especially if you’re playing with strangers at a conference of some kind.

The game is played over a series of rounds, one per player. At the start of a round, the current player draws an Idea Card and reads it out loud to the group. They will be arguing the "pro" position for this topic, trying to convince the group that this game is indeed Art. As soon as they have finished reading the card, one other player may "slap in" to argue the "con" position, trying to convince the group that the game is not in fact Art.

Turn Order

  1. The "pro" position goes first, and has a "reasonable" amount of time to make a case for why the game is Art.
  2. The "con" position goes second, and makes an argument for why the game is not Art (or "bad" art).
  3. The other players vote by placing a card face down on the table, and revealing them all simultaneously.


There are three Voting Cards that can be used during voting, and they score in different ways:

  1. No, it's not Art – this game is clearly not Art. Counts as one no vote, and scores 1 point if there are a majority of no votes.
  2. Yes it's Art – this game is clearly Art, and you would be a fool not to think similarly. Counts as one yes vote, and scores 1 point if there are a majority of yes votes. In the event of a tie, the yes votes win because the Art world isn't so distinguishing.
  3. Fuck you, it's Art! – if the group won’t think that the game is Art, then you show yourself to be a true iconoclast – nobody understands but you! But if it turns out that everyone thinks this is indeed Art, you're yelling for no reason, and you'll lose face in the community. Counts as one yes vote, but scores 2 points if there are a majority of no votes. If the yes votes win, you lose 1 point.


After the votes are revealed, the votes are totaled and points are awarded to the voters. Take careful note of the "Fuck you, it's Art!" card – it counts as a yes vote but scores with the no votes. If the yes votes win, then the player who argued the "pro" position gains 2 points. If the no votes win, then the player who argued the "con" position gains 2 points.

The next player in the circle will select a card and start the next round.

Play continues until all players have started one round. The player(s) with the most points is the winner.

Unanimous Consensus Variant

In the event that a vote is unanimous (all "yes" / "Fuck you, it's Art!” votes or all "no" votes), the issue is settled for good. The Idea Card should be immediately torn up. The player who argued the winning position for this card should take a blank card and write a new idea on it. That way, the game stays fresh.

Thematic Variants

Just because you don't hang out at independent game festivals doesn't mean this game isn't for you!

Is your global internet company holding a conference to get people to brainstorm the next "big thing" so that you make a dump-truck full of money? Then you should play Fuck you, it's a billion dollar idea! Or, alternatively: Fuck you, it's a viable Web 2.0 startup!

Have you made up your own Fuck you, it's _____ variant? Drop us a line!

Idea Cards

Part of the fun of Fuck You, It's Art! is scribbling down your own zany, bogus art game ideas. But to get you going, here are some of our own favorite Idea Cards:

Contact us for a full list of the Idea Cards we used.


- Back to Main Page -