The Head of State addresses the “gaming” community. In a text published on social networks this Saturday, Emmanuel Macron spoke at length about his vision of video games. “I made the gamers jump” a few weeks ago, he admits, ensuring that he has always considered the 10th art as “an opportunity for France, for our youth and its future, for our jobs and our economy”.
Last July, the President of the Republic sparked controversy by insinuating that video games had a responsibility in the riots which broke out almost everywhere in France, following the death of Nahel. “Social platforms and networks play a considerable role in the movements of the last days. [...] We have the feeling, sometimes, that certain [young people] are experiencing, in the street, the video games that have intoxicated them,” he then declared.
These comments aroused the ire of many players, including those in the sector, who were annoyed to see their favorite media once again singled out by political leaders. “The correlation between video games and violent behavior is an urban legend that scientific studies have denied,” retorted rebellious MP Ugo Bernalicis, when the American specialist media, PC Gamer, described the president’s remarks as “a pile of shit” .
Also read: Aurélie Jean: “Video games are not responsible for the riots, let’s stop stigmatizing them”
A few weeks later, the head of state made his mea culpa. “I expressed my concerns at the end of June because video game codes had been used by offenders to trivialize violence on social networks. It is this violence that I condemn, not video games,” he specifies. “Culture”, “entertainment”, “show”, “ground for artistic experimentation”, “fascinating learning space”, “sport”, “ecosystem”, “places of sharing”… The tenant of the Élysée does not shy away from ameliorative terms to designate video game leisure and convince “gamers” of its respect for this activity. He also recalls the weight of e-sport, which will bring together a “vibrant youth” this Saturday evening at La Défense arena, during a competition.
Emmanuel Macron also welcomes the economic dynamism of the video game sector, in which the French ecosystem can count on heavyweights, such as “Assassin’s Creed or Dofus”. “We are proud of it [...]. Video games offer opportunities for employment and the future, by creating champions, but also engineers, developers, designers and creators,” he notes. The Head of State then concludes his missive by promising that he will continue “to support the organization of major events in France, act to support the sector and help it develop.” “You can count on me,” he finally tells the players.
In the past, Emmanuel Macron had already reached out to video game fans on several occasions. For example, he received several streamers, like ZeratoR, at the Élysée, in June 2022, and promised, on this occasion, a “new era” for e-sport. He then published a video in support of players who were collecting donations as part of ZEvent last September. It remains to be seen whether the players will be convinced by his new plea.