When French presidential candidates flirt with gamers

French President Emmanuel Macron’s team this week launched a Minecraft server to power his campaign.

This Tuesday, Emmanuel Macron’s campaign account tweeted a mysterious message: “34.76.238.147”. Behind these figures, the name of a Minecraft server dedicated to the candidate’s campaign. Minecraft? A video game in which you can build, destroy and assemble cubic blocks like Lego. A hit that brings together more than 141 million players every month.



“Politicians have understood that games are no longer just games, but means of communication in their own right.”

Marc Beds

Emeritus Professor of Communication at UCLouvain

But the server dedicated to the French president is probably not the one where we will have the most fun. We find there, plastered everywhere, a ton of electoral posters. A few characters in suits and ties stroll through a virtual village and praise the results of the last five-year term. You can visit a town hall there where you can check if you are correctly registered on the electoral lists, etc.

This Saturday, the meeting of the president-candidate at Arena La Défense will also be broadcast live there.. It’s not the metaverse, but it looks a bit like the idea we have of it.

A means of communication

If the video game was not a topic much discussed in the campaign despite its significant weight in the French economy as well as in popular culturethe candidates are obviously not ready to shun it as a means of communication.

In 2017, for example, supporters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon had released the game “Fiscal Kombat” which featured their candidate attacking “the oligarchs”. And they renewed the experience by releasing last week “The future in common is you”, inspired by the independent game “Baba is you”.



“The risk, however, is to see the background – who still reads the programs? – fade away in favor of a show democracy.”

Marc Beds

Emeritus Professor of Communication at UCLouvain

“The phenomenon is not new, considers Marc Lits, professor emeritus of communication at UCLouvain. ‘Second Life’ (a sort of metaverse before its time, Ed.) already housed, in the 2000s, a few campaign headquarters politicians have understood that games are no longer just games, but means of communication in their own right.”

reach young people

No technical development is overlooked by politicians and their communication teams. Thus, we have seen them take turns investing in blogs, social networks, and trendy platforms such as TikTok or Twitch. Emmanuel Macron is not at his first attempt, since he had participated in a video with comedians McFly and Carlito last summer.

“This makes it possible to occupy the field and reach new young audiences supposedly less interested in politics, but fond of these media. The risk, however, is to see the substance – who still reads the programs? – fade away advantage of a spectacle democracy. A phenomenon reinforced by the fact that each time a politician seizes a new channel, the press talks about it abundantly”, concludes the expert.

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When French presidential candidates flirt with gamers


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