Video games are polymorphic technological objects between audiovisual media,
industrial game and computer program.
This technological convergence will be traduced by importation of old
speeches from other areas. This profusion of discourses shared by multiple
actors tries to define what videogames are in society. Archetypal example,
addiction is at the crossroads of speeches on compulsive gaming (gambling),
business definitions of addiction to the Internet, and refers to the
imagination of drug abuse.
The social and political debates around violence, addiction, economic
freedom are based on the speeches accompanying the previous media and games.
These speeches are sustained by actors who play on their own and for
themselves: some do not care about videogames but will use videogames to exist
in the political field, as other will try to produce social demands for curing
addiction as so they would offer remedies.
This struggle for definition is a political game that would lead to the
social acceptation of their social function. The problematic imposition, as
violence and addiction, is a political trick to win the monopole of definition
and regulation. The expert who becomes the social and political normative
reference would be the one who would regulate them and offer services.
Would videogames suffer from actors strategies and private interests? Who
are the competitors, the socializers, the healers? As violence and addiction
appear to be a social acceptation of videogames effects, without discussing the
genealogy of this conceptions, this special issue n°67 of the French political
science review Quaderni, will explore political competition on videogames’
social definition, mainly in USA and Europe. What are at stake are the public
policy issues and legislative resolution. This issue should be a political
handbook on videogames issues.