To prepare for the weekend event, 24-year-old Marine conscientiously fulfilled the tasks of any good organizer: first make the guest list, then make sure everyone has enough to eat. But on Saturday March 21, her friends and cousins will have needed neither an address nor a digicode and, failing a drink and other food at hand, they will have contented themselves with digging into the entertainment ideas that this hostess had been listed.
” Who am I ? “,” Small bin “,” limit / limit “… Almost a week after the start of confinement, there were seven” guests “reinterpreting the classic board game evening, each behind their computer screen. “Meeting up and laughing together: it did us all a lot of good, launches Marine. After that, the next week is easier to approach! “
Take the time to play at a distance with your loved ones: Marine and her group of friends are not the only ones to have found this solution to fight against the loneliness and the remoteness imposed by confinement. Vincent Berry, lecturer at Paris-XIII University, specialist in the sociology of the game, notes this:
“From the start, some online board game servers have experienced rather unprecedented saturation, a sign of a shift in people's usual playful practices towards digital. The Internet and these gaming platforms should allow the leisure space to continue, which, even if it is very much started in its ordinary forms by confinement, remains essential in the social life of each individual. ”
“The game allows another dynamic”
Game nights were a habit for Océane, a 25-year-old publishing graduate, and her family. For the past few days, we have had to adapt to preserve these fun moments of breathing, by transposing their board or card games on sites and through webcam interactions.
Often, they play games of Werewolf with the Wolfy site, which allows this famous role-playing game to be conducted online where villagers fight against nocturnal attacks that take them away one by one. Small “events” that have become essential in order to restructure time, in the face of a confined daily life that tends to disintegrate.
“Communication is more written, through a chat: it's different from face-to-face but also very funny, explains Océane. We develop new strategies, we carry messages. ” Sometimes they are content with Skype conversations. “But our discussions quickly go around in circles because, in fact, there is not much going on in our days. The game allows another dynamic, active and creative », she believes.
“Deepen the ties that we had abandoned”
“More than a conversation, which has its limits, play – according to the thesis of the leading sociologists in the field Roger Caillois and Johan Huizinga – gives a group the feeling of experiencing something exceptional, and thus of creating more strong, completes Vincent Berry. Besides, if at the adolescent age the game is a place of creation of bonds, it represents then especially a privileged way of reinforcing already existing relationships. “
In this unprecedented period of suspension of physical relations and faced with the worry of the dilation of the bond, young and not so young see in the organization of these collective meetings of a new type a buoy to which to hang distant daily newspapers .
When the confinement was announced, 20-year-old Luca and his group of friends from high school had to think of a “substitute” solution for regular visits, which would keep them in touch. Neither one nor two, they all rushed to commercial sites to order a Nintendo Switch, console par excellence of entertaining video game in multiplayer. Since then, every evening, the student of modern letters takes out the head of his books of medieval literature to embark on races with a taste of childhood on Mario Kart or exploring the soothing world of the new Animal Crossing. “Whatever the game, it is only a pretext because the main thing is really to be together”, confides the young man.
Paradoxically, Marine even sees the ban on travel as an opportunity to make room for her social relationships. Particularly during these remote games where everyone, happy to meet, is “Very attentive to others and leaves his phone aside, as we don't necessarily do in the evening”, did she notice:
“In our daily routine and its hectic pace, we are tempted to stay at home at the weekend in front of Netflix. Now, that, we can do it all the time and we realize things that can be essential, like our social relationships. I realized that I had not taken enough time to develop certain friendships: these remote games are the opportunity to deepen the ties that we had abandoned. “
Reconnecting with your lonely grandmother
Play and its possibly transgenerational dimension also makes it possible to reorganize social relations with loved ones isolated by confinement. Since the outings have been restricted, Jean-Baptiste, a 33-year-old journalist, and his brothers regularly play Scrabble from a distance with their grandmother, who is approaching 80 years of age. “We are paying more attention to her because she is so annoyed since her grandchildren can no longer visit her and she can no longer walk”, he explains. In his family, at all times, play is a “Way of communicating in its own right” :
“However, we had not yet taken the time to play remotely with her … Luckily, we had taught her to use the software to play online (ISC) shortly before confinement and c is a connected grandma! We feel that it does her good, especially since there are no longer even horse racing that she used to watch with my grandfather on TV. “
Jean-Baptiste, who plays Scrabble in competition, also continues to organize tournaments with his club friends and with his brothers. “It must be a little frustrating to do it behind a screen, but we're fine-tuning our condition for when we meet!” “, he warns, waiting to finally manipulate the white letters of the famous board game again.