The spring 2020 confinement accelerated things, but for Laurent – six to eight hours of video games per week – it was inevitable that his 5-year-old daughter would claim the joypad sooner or later. So when she talks to him about it, a little over a year ago, he doesn’t resist but “Looking for something beautiful, narrative, easy…”. It will be Spiritfarer.
“I had tested the game, it worked well right away. She embodies the cat that accompanies the main character that I control. »
Matthew, who works in the video game industry, introduced his eldest daughter, 12, to several solo games such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Where Raymanwhile the youngest, 8 years old, explored Minecraft. During the first confinement of 2020, it is thanks to animal crossing that this estranged father was able to maintain contact. “I bought three copies of the game, I built a house on my island with a room for each of them…”
This important video game relationship, Audrey lives it with her 9-year-old daughter, who has developed a passion for multiplayer games. Roblox. François, a 45-year-old from Brussels, who claims thirty-five years of practice, an arcade machine at home and“finish all Souls”went through confinement with his son, three decades younger, thanks to the very full-bodied An axe.
Generation of “gamers”
All are far from being isolated cases, and are even more and more numerous: according to data from 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 taken with caution, warn sociologists Laurent Trémel and Samuel Coavoux: on the one hand, “because the industry wants to promote a positive image of video games”according to Mr. Trémel; on the other hand, in the eyes of the second, there is “methodological limits” in a survey carried out on a panel of 4,000 people.
Still, these data echo a fundamental trend observed in the industry. “since the arrival of Nintendo home consoles in the 1980s”according to Samuel Coavoux:
” The generation of players born in the 1980s and 1990s is the generation of parents in 2020: they grew up with parents who did not play, but they are parents with a real video game culture, which they can pass on. »
But franchises like Zelda, mario or, more recently, Pokemon have retained these players until today, and thus favored the family practice of video games, which tend to confirm other figures from SELL: while the vast majority of French players are adults in 2021 (88%), almost half of the games on offer (44%) are rated PEGI 3 or 7 (i.e. playable from the age of 3 or 7), a way for publishers to offer titles that can appeal to the most large number. And these figures do not take into account the dematerialized sales of Nintendo, the world heavyweight in transgenerational games.
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