Introduction aux enjeux artistiques et culturels des jeux vidéo Sébastien Genvo - 2003

Studies & Analysis (videogames)

Introduction aux enjeux artistiques et culturels des jeux vidéo

Author(s) : Sébastien Genvo
Editor : L'Harmattan
Publication date : 11-01-2003
Language : french French

This tiny 80 pages book tackles the question of the artistic and cultural potential of video games. The first part of the book quickly reviews the history and classification of video games, using elements from the classical book written by Le Diberder Brothers. In the second part, the author deals with how players regard games. He then draws elements from his personal experience in a "gamer's club" running monthly Lan Parties (networked computer game sessions). Thanks to the interview of his fellow gamers, the author reveals that keen gamers and non-gamers don't see games through the same lens. It seems that only expert gamers are able to discuss the "gameplay" qualities of two different games. The last part of the book pursue this idea with a comparison of three different games : Nomad Soul (Quantic Dream, 1999), Counter-Strike (Minh le & Jess Cliffe, 1999) and Diablo 2 (Blizzard, 2000). For example, the books presents the online Diablo 2 sub-culture, where guilds are the basis of social relations between players. After this presentation of the cultural and artistic potential of video games, the author ends his book with an example of how some people try to legitimate games as cultural artifacts. He shares his own experience of organizing a giant Lan Party in a French University, which announces the rising academia interest in video games in France. Sébastien Genvo, who wrote this book is 2003, is actually part of the "first wave" of French academic researchers working on video games.


Keywords : video game, art, culture, introduction