Skip to main content

Emmanuel Macron backtracks on critical video game remarks

Months after blaming riots in France on them
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Back in June 2023, a heavily pressured French president Emmanuel Macron partly blamed the widespread riots engulfing his country on video games during a press conference. “They are acting out the video games that have poisoned their minds,” he stated back then.

This was a very surprising change of tune from the leader, who in the past always spoke highly about gaming, going so far as to invite successful esport competitors to Élysée Palace and stating that he wanted several major esports tournaments to happen in France to accompany Paris hosting the Olympic Games in 2024.

Now Macron walked back the severity of his statements from June in a post on social media. “I’ve always believed that video games are an opportunity for France, for our young people and their future, for our jobs and our economy,” he wrote and stated that he wanted to clarify his earlier remarks. It was not games he criticized, Macron said, but the people abusing them to justify and trivialize violent behavior.

Emanuelle Macron in the EU parliament.

French president Emmanuel Macron walked back his critical video game remarks.

“Video games are a form of culture, entertainment and spectacle,” Macron continued. “They are a field for artistic experimentation, a fascinating learning space, blending all the arts. Playing games means listening to music, immersing yourself in stories, feeling emotions and traveling through time. It's about exploring visual worlds that are writing a new chapter in the history of art.”

He once again mentioned competitive gaming as well, praising the values it could teach younger generations.

Macron continued: “Video games are an integral part of France. Assassin's Creed and Dofus are the creations of French talent. We're proud of this and we're making it easier to access with the Culture Pass. Video games offer opportunities for employment and for the future, by creating champions as well as engineers, developers, designers and creators. The sector inspires, inspires dreams, inspires growth!”

He ended the message by saying: “You can count on me.” That, of course, would probably be more reassuring had he not thrown the industry under the bus a few months ago when he was under pressure.