The French and video games: 2021, a year of confirmation and acceleration

2021, the year of confirmation and acceleration: social leisure, video games bring together more players around an increasingly responsible practice

The SELL, Syndicate of Leisure Software Publishers presents the results of its annual study “The French and the Video Game” carried out by Médiamétrie *.

This report provides an overview of the participation and profile of video game players in France and deciphers their consumption and usage habits.

This new edition highlights a growing number of players and increasingly intense practice, signs of confirmation of the main underlying trends. Popularity of video games among an increasingly wide audience, search for social ties, practice of family games, increased parental responsibility: last year’s findings were confirmed and amplified in 2021.

French and videogames

  • France has never had so many players: 73% of the French play at least occasionally * (+2 pts), or more than 38 million people.
  • The practice of video games is intensifying: France has 58% of regular players **, against 52% in 2020.
  • An increasingly social video game that can be shared with the family: 61% of gamers consider that video games allow creating social bonds, which is 9 points more than in 2020. 77% of parents play video games with their children . , up from 66% in 2020.
  • Responsible practice: 48% of parents say they know and use parental control systems, compared to 37% in 2020 and 32% in 2019.

Portrait of robot of video game players in France

In 2021, if 73% of French people play video games at least occasionally * (+2 pts), 58% play them regularly **, an increase of 6 points compared to last year. These regular players are 53% male, 47% female, and their average age is 38. The practice of video games has never been so popular and the progression of player participation observed in 2020 at the end of an unprecedented context is confirmed. Intergenerational leisure, 71% of adults (+3 points) and 98% of children (+4 points) play video games.

On average, male and female gamers use 2.2 gaming platforms: the smartphone is still the most used medium, with 51% of gamers declaring to play it, just ahead of the home console, which has seen a sharp increase of + 4 points. With 49%.

Like last year, mainstream video games are popular: “casual” games, platform games and adventure games are the 3 favorite genres of the French.

Video games confirm their social dimension

Highlighted by the health context of 2020, the social character of video games was confirmed in 2021: 61% of gamers (+ 9 pts) consider that video games allow the creation of social links.

Share your passion online or IRL: multiplayer video games continue to be more democratic with 43% of players playing online with friends (+6 pts) and 37% playing together (+10 pts). Always more social, 33% of gamers even say that video games have helped them make friends.

Feeling of belonging: 1/3 of the players (33%) have the feeling of belonging to a community. A trend marked mainly among children, who are 53% to declare it, that is, 13 points more in a year.

Synonymous with shared good times, among these players, 89% consider their community as benevolent and welcoming.

A family and responsible practice

As a result of the work of manufacturers, publishers and associations, video games are establishing themselves as an increasingly responsible practice. Parents are more attentive to the practice of their children’s video games, take charge of the command and are also better informed about the tools available to supervise the practice of the little ones.

70% of parents say that they supervise their children’s practice: choosing with them the games they can play, advising against certain games or staying with them when they play.

A best supported practice also allows for a good time with the family: 77% of parents play with their children, mainly to share an activity with them and because it is fun. Strong increase compared to 2020: +11 points.

Playing with your children is essential for a better understanding of video games and the tools available to supervise the practice. Thus, parental control systems are gaining a lot of notoriety, 92% of parents declare that they are aware of their existence (+4 pts).

In 2021, 48% of parents use them: they were 37% in 2020 and 32% in 2019.

For its part, the PEGI classification system continues to be installed in the reflections of more than half of the parents. They are 62% to say they know. Significantly, the attention paid to PEGI is more pronounced among parents who buy video games. Now they are 67% to be attentive to him during the act of purchase. The awareness-raising work is paying off: this figure has increased 7 points compared to 2020 and 11 points compared to 2019!

Videogames and you

This year, the Médiamétrie study for SELL also aims to better understand the role that video games play in the lives of gamers.

Main lesson, video games have a positive impact on the lives of gamers:

  • In fact, if the main motivation is to have fun (93%), a transition to the social aspect of video games is rapidly taking place.
  • Playing we make friends and we enjoy meeting them again in each game. Thus, video games are a way to get away from it all for 86% of players and a way to spend a friendly moment with other people for 73% of those surveyed.

The various benefits of playing video games:

  • Video games contribute to the well-being of gamers: 79% indicate that it reduces boredom, 71% that it gives them joy and makes them happier. Also, it helps fight stress or pressure for 65% of players.
  • Play and learn: Almost 3 out of 4 adult video game players believe that video games have played a role in their learning of new technologies.

Click here to download the full study.

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