Atol’s Adriana collection, recent campaigns by Kenzo, Dior, Louis Vuitton, along with Paris 2017 D’ Days tagline, “Let’s play”… Marketing has erected a temple for fun and declared it the new religion.

But a different wind is blowing over the kingdom of video games. In the basement one can find serious games for smartphones. I love potatoes (CA 2015) suggests more responsible ways to consume. Smokitten (FR 2017) helps you quit smoking thanks to an adorable kitten and Minecraft (USA 2016) is a learning tool using digital LEGOs.

Marcus through the years
Marcus through the years

It is true that serious games have existed since the 18th century namely through war strategy simulators. As early as the 15th century, the concept of Serio Ludere is the playful approach one can find to a serious situation. Nowadays, this contradiction in terms reveal what a sociological marker video games are.

Throughout the years, the mascots (Pac-Man, Sonic, Mario…), the creators (Michel Ancel, Hideo Kojima), the platforms and a few collectible ads (SEGA, it’s stronger than you) the exhibition creates a rather comprehensive, clever panorama of the Homo Ludens and what it says about the world.

Game, video game through the yearsan exhibition at the EDF Foundation until August 27th 2017.

Visuals © Araso