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This article argues that playing video games and playing classic games are rooted within elective social ties and obligatory social ties, respectively. Video games play a role in the cultural emancipation of children and adolescents, whereas classic games fulfil a family function by providing intergenerational sociability. The analysis of playful practices through the lens of sociability furthermore serves to take a step beyond the technological interpretation of the evolution of games. The article relies on data from a quantitative survey as well as in-depth interviews carried out among the adult population residing in France in 2012. It first examines the differences in recreational practices throughout the life cycle, discusses and completes the hypothesis of a generational effect, and then analyzes how playing games is anchored in situations of sociability.


  • Age
  • culture
  • family
  • play
  • sociabilities
Samuel Coavoux
David Gerber
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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