France’s major role in shaping the history of international football – both via
the performances of its national teams and its role in organizing the sport
– is mirrored by its importance within the development of videogames.
However, videogames – like sport – remain an understudied aspect of
French culture with French studies. This article explores significant debates
about the cultural capital of videogames in France that feature contrasting
reactions such as skepticism and celebration. It argues that interactions
between football and videogames are increasingly blurring the boundary
between the sport of football and the world of videogames. The world of
e-sports (professional videogaming) will be shown to be a domain where
leading French football teams and politicians are particularly keen to
harness the cultural, economic, and political importance of videogames.