Life Style

Video games: “Playing online can be addicting”

La Croix: Online video games are very popular with young people. A third of 10-17 year olds play it, compared to 11% of adults. What is the particularity of this game mode?

Justine Atlan: When we talk about video games, we imagine a young person in the living room, alone or with friends, in front of his console, but today most games are played differently. The child or teenager is always at home but he connects to an Internet platform to find other players, strangers or friends with whom he will play remotely. This mode also allows for trading and that’s what made it so popular during the first lockdown.

Beyond confinement, how do you explain this success?

JA: Video games are games and, in general, we don’t like to play alone. With online play, one can find partners at any time. Each game is a new experience since we face new players. The “persistent world” side is also very attractive. The game evolves even when you are not playing, as others continue to do so all over the world.

→ READ. Video games, a practice difficult to control

It is therefore a practice that allows for experiences with peers, which is very important in adolescence. The players form a tight-knit community. They share a passion that requires real skills, contrary to what one might think, and are happy to compete with each other. We find in the online game the same virtues as in team sport, with the spirit of competition but also the sense of effort. And then, as I said, it is a place of socialization, even if there is no physical presence. The absence of the body can even prove to be liberating for adolescents who feel bad about themselves and are self-conscious.

Online video games are nevertheless criticized, what are the risks?

JA: Online gambling can be addicting since it can be played at any time of the day or night. As we play as a team, we are not supposed to interrupt the game at any time, which can further lengthen the playing time. The other danger is bad “encounters” since we often play with strangers. .

In addition, exchanges between players can be violent, with insults or denigration, as on social networks. Online games sometimes also convey a questionable “philosophy” since you have to kill everyone else in order to survive. Finally, some are falsely free to attract as many players as possible, such as Fortnite, which is very popular with young people. No need to buy the game but you have to constantly pay to expand the scope of action or acquire new powers, which can be very expensive.

This type of game seems more difficult to supervise. What advice should be given to parents?

JA: Whatever the game, you have to be interested in what your child likes and not denigrate this hobby. If the parents show kindness, the children and even the teenagers will be happy to share with them and this will allow them to understand how the game works. It is essential to supervise this activity, otherwise they will be quickly overwhelmed. And if the rules are not respected, they also have the right to unplug the console!


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