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Article - Culture : a game matter

At the Forum d'Avignon 2011, which took place from November 17 to 19, artists, directors (in the fields of film, music, theater, books, dance, etc..), and philosophers met around a theme "Investing culture." The video game industry, represented that year by Jean-Bernard Levy, CEO of Vivendi (which is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard), Atelier BNP-Paribas, a consulting firm specializing in prospective new technologies or with Nintendo 3DS technology that has made a 3D real-time demonstration in the Lab, is still not identified spontaneously in culture.

Really cultural and creative, the video game industry, in addition to representing an annual turnover of 550.9 million euros in 2010 (but down slightly, due to changes in digital platforms: mobile phones, tablets, etc..), is now strongly associated with cultural heritage. Is heard by the video game: a hardware tool allowing an individual to interact via a physical device, with a virtual environment. This definition does not limit the game to an object with which we only have to bring a weapon and kill a series of monsters. This is a cultural object in the sense that it appears as a technical device which raises both issues related to digital and contents: it is not uncommon today to find in a video game content that approximates such a product filmic scenario, image processing (especially cinematics and graphs aspects), interactivity, social and historical references are elements that make a videogame to a cultural product own right. The example of Quebec is striking: the library “Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec” (BAnQ) has offered in recent months to its users a borrowing service of video games (only some libraries offered this service). The BAnQ demonstrated forward thinking by elevating video games to the level of artistic works. By its statute, the BAnQ sends a message to international actors: the game is also of culture.

The Quebec example shows the interest on the video game, strong cultural product of a growing economy. Transmission of video game culture is this day marked both by new digital technologies, and by the increased research in relation to interactive artworks. Whether video-entertaining, educational or even link to learning, the video game allows immersion of the individual in digital content.
It is also a booming sector in terms of employment (occupations varied and large number of desired skills: designers, graphic designers, writers, producers, etc.).


A contribution of the university of Avignon, by Victorien Mendras


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CNC, direction des études, direction du multimédia. Le marché du jeu vidéo au premier semestre 2010. Novembre 2010. Paris.