“There was a containment effect but not only, it is a fundamental trend. There is a passion of the French for video games and that cannot be denied”, explains the general delegate of the leisure software publishers’ guild Nicolas Vignolles Tuesday, November 23 on franceinfo, while a Médiamétrie study for the union reveals that 58% of French people aged 10 and over play video games at least once a week.
franceinfo: Has the practice of video games increased thanks to the confinements?
Nicolas Vignolles: In fact, there has been an effect, but not only, it is a fundamental trend. There is a passion of the French for video games and that cannot be denied, even in a year in which there was less confinement like 2021. We thought that 2020 was a parenthesis because there was an acceleration in the way we played video games, but in fact, not at all, it is not a parenthesis, it is really a fundamental trend that is taking hold. There are 73% of French people aged 10 and over who play video games at least once a month, that is, 38 million people, and then there are still the most passionate French who are 6 out of 10 The number of French who spend at least one hour a week playing video games has increased by more than six points in one year.
More and more people are playing games on their smartphones. Did the telephone help popularize video games and lower their prices?
This is a big part of the democratization of video games, but, beyond the phone, there has been a fundamental trend for 5-6 years that means that you can play in all possible media.
“You start a video game on the bus on your smartphone, but it can continue on your living room console.”Nicolas Vignolles, General Delegate of the Leisure Software Publishers Guild
Go on the weekend with your grandparents and continue your same game at the same level on Grandpa’s PC. This continuity is the great strength of video games now, which makes access super easy and very pleasant and which is convincing more and more people, on mobile phones, on consoles, on computers. The key really is the ease of access to video games now.
Do the French prefer to play alone or with others?
Generally and increasingly since 2020 and 2021, we connect to play video games with a truly social side. We want to find our friends, our family. Having a good time together through a game is a very strong trend in the last two or three years.
“We don’t play to be alone, we play to be with others.”Nicolas Vignolles
Which is a bit counter-intuitive compared to everything you can hear in video games. There is a sociodemographic explanation, namely that parents who are 35, 40 or 45 years old have had a video game culture being younger and have tended, thanks to the confinement, to put a console back in the middle of the room thinking they were going to happen that time with their children. It is also a way for parents not to stray away from the children’s favorite hobby and thus allows them to stay connected with their children and with their time.
Yet seven out of ten parents say they closely or remotely monitor what their children do in front of screens, so mistrust remains.
It’s very important. We are fully aware that video games, along with other online activities, can worry parents who sometimes abandon their children’s practices. Since 2003, video games have implemented many tools available to parents. Our great challenge is to make these tools known, to make them as simple as possible because sometimes parents wonder how to configure the console or the computer, and that is why we have implemented tools.
“With three or four clicks, when you turn on a console, you can completely set your child’s playtime.”Nicolas Vignolles
Configure what you want it to play and also prohibit, for example, purchases in games, that is configurable in all consoles on the market today but there is a lot of work to be explained. In a way, it is “e-parenting” that we have to create with parents and there the public authorities have an important role with us to explain that.
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