Family business: “The current generation has grown up with a true video game culture that they can pass on to children”

Confinement in the spring of 2020 hastened things, but for Laurent — six to eight hours of video games a week — it was inevitable that his 5-year-old daughter would pick up the joystick sooner or later. Therefore, when she tells him about it a little over a year ago, he does not resist, but “is looking for something beautiful, narrative, light …”. This will be Spiritfarer.

“I tested the game, it worked right away. She embodies the cat that accompanies the protagonist, whom I control. »

Matthew, who works in the video game industry, introduced his 12-year-old oldest daughter to several solo games such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening or Rayman, while the 8-year-old youngest learned Minecraft. During the first imprisonment in 2020, thanks to Animal Crossing, this estranged father was able to keep in touch. “I bought three copies of the game, built a house on my island with a room for each of them…”

This important relationship with video games, Audrey lives with her 9-year-old daughter, who has become addicted to Roblox multiplayer games. François, a 45-year-old Brussels resident who claims thirty-five years of experience, an arcade machine at home and “passed all souls”, went through imprisonment with his son, three decades younger, thanks to a very full Sekiro in the body.

generation of gamers

These are far from isolated cases, and there are more and more of them: according to the Syndicate of Leisure Software Publishers (SELL), 77% of French parents played – with varying regularity – with their children in 2021, i.e. eleven points. more than a year earlier, fifteen more than in 2014. Admittedly, these figures should be treated with caution, sociologists Laurent Tremel and Samuel Koavu warn: on the one hand, “because the industry wants to promote a positive image of video games”, according to Mr. Tremel; on the other hand, in the eyes of the latter, there are “methodological limitations” in a survey conducted on a panel of 4,000 people.

However, this data reflects a fundamental trend seen in the industry “since the advent of Nintendo home consoles in the 1980s”, according to Samuel Koavu:

“The generation of gamers born in the 1980s and 1990s is the generation of parents in 2020: they grew up with parents who didn’t play, but they are parents with a real video game culture that they can pass on. »

Franchises such as Zelda, Mario or, more recently, Pokémon have retained these players until today and thus have favored the family practice of video games, which tends to confirm other SELL data: while the vast majority of French players are adults in 2021. (88%), almost half of the games offered (44%) are PEGI 3 or 7 (i.e. playable from 3 or 7 years old), allowing publishers to offer games that as many people as possible can enjoy . And those numbers don’t take into account the dematerialized sales of Nintendo, the world’s heavyweight in transgen games.

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