Ridiculous, useless, harmful little virtual games? Not so sure … An English study has indeed demonstrated the virtues of one of the most famous of them: Tetris. Stacking bricks would have a positive influence and help better “digest” post-traumatic shock! Consumed en masse, these games have a negative image. “I often see more than 30 years in the subway, glued to their device, says Anne, 41.
It’s touching but a little pathetic. I feel like watching my son play small cars. “I hide in the toilet to make a” brick breaker, “says Philip, 34. Otherwise, I would have to justify myself to my friend who makes fun of me. No wonder, since, in the collective imagination, a player on the screen is a geek,
“In the world of adults, we must not waste time playing, because it produces nothing, says Yann Leroux, psychologist, and psychoanalyst, author of the blog ” Psy and geek ” … Besides the solitary pleasures are quickly regarded as masturbatory. But who would point to an adult playing chess? “It’s different, nuance Yann Leroux.
This requires installation, decision making. A video game is an opposite. At the moment when desire is formulated, one takes out one’s cellphone and is satisfied. It is too easy to be valued. A solution of ease, laziness? And if it was more complicated?
An appointment with you
For its critics, the virtual game is a way to escape the fear of emptiness and excludes daydreaming. “That’s not true, sociologist Catherine Lejealle, author of the Mobile Phone Game: Use and Sociability. (The Harmattan, 2008). It is a sort of decompression chamber in cold or stressful environments and paces the day. “The technique offers us another way to do nothing,” observes Yann Leroux. The game helps the child to be structured. For the adult, it becomes a way of forgetting oneself, almost of meditating.
“I take my phone and find myself in my bubble,” says Clemence, 27, a new fan of Mario Kart on his handheld console. Yann Leroux confirms: “Instead of annoying us because of too long waiting times, which could send us back to past expectations more painful, the game soothes us. The moments that follow are discussed more serenely. The subway, the office is open space or the waiting room of the dentist, sometimes hostile places, are warming up.
“When I’m alone, I empty my head, it makes me crazy, “says Raoul, 51 years old. By overlaying other activities, unlike games in dedicated spaces (home, specialized rooms, etc.), these tapping on a mobile phone are real restorative breaks. “It’s an appointment with oneself, anywhere, anytime,” notes Catherine Lejealle.
They are also good reinforcements of self-esteem … Passing the levels one after the other can take up a small daily challenge. More sophisticated, brain training programs push us to surpass ourselves. And when the screen tells us that our brain is 31 when we have 52, our self-esteem is re-inflated.
Handling his mobile is also a way to handle some embarrassment in public: “We are rushing on games to occupy our hands, summarizes Catherine Lejealle. It is less bad than smoking a cigarette or eating a chocolate bar while having the same function as a substitute. “
A delicious regression
In the style of Proust’s madeleines, small games take us back to our childhood. The music of Pacman or Mario reminds us of memories of fights or laughter with our brothers and sisters, just like Lego or Kapla can soften us. “I’ve been playing Tetris since I was six years old, on multiple media,” enthuses Charlotte, 24. It’s exactly the same, it’s reassuring.
The temporal shortcuts caused by the image or sound plunge us into a secure cocoon. Pierre-Olivier Monteil, a video game designer at Playsoft, says: “As much as we work on the visuals of more advanced games, consumers also want eternal games, which awaken memories in them. “
More surprisingly, some of them relate to passing anxieties. “The game can respond to concerns experienced in childhood, Yann Leroux analysis. In Tetris, the bricks fall and are recovered, thus mitigating the fear of falling. The goal of arcade games is not to be locked up, which is anguish for many.
In shooting games, the objective is to empty one’s weapon, but not too fast, to keep ammunition. The parallel with sexual discharge is obvious. These practices are still little studied by specialists in psychology, but one thing is certain: everyone has “his” game, a particular universe that often brings him back to his own story.