After days of debating, France has officially banned the English based gaming words “esports” and “streamer” in an effort to preserve language purity. As per the official communication and post from the Ministry of Culture, English based words in the gaming environment could be a “barrier to understanding” for non gaming knowledgeable people (non-gamers). The overall concept, as per the French Ministry communications, is to include the entire population, including non-traditional gamers as well as veteran gamers, to communicate in a simpler and easier manner.
From now on, these words have now been replaced with French originated alternatives. Currently, “pro-gamer” becomes “joueur professionnel”, “cloud gaming” is changed to “jeu video en nuage,” and “esports” is now used as “jeu video de competition.”
Something worth noting is that all of this process was thoroughly researched and discussed by several parties, including prominent references from video game websites and magazines in order to have background from gaming environment experts.
As per the original report from The Guardian, French officials have continuously battled for decades in order to preserve the purity of their native language, replacing the use of English gaming words, including “esports”, “streamer”, “cloud gaming”, and “pro gamer” is definitely part of this.
The entire purpose behind this change is to break the “barrier for understanding” against non-traditional gamers. This includes a community that is uninterested or sometimes oblivious to the huge field of gaming. France has definitely become one of the leading countries to instate modern laws in favor of eSports, as the current president has been very vocal on the matter, especially as the eSports business can attract a lot of tourism and potential revenue to the country.
Notably, this is not the first time the French government has replaced English originated words from everyday use. The French gaming industry is by far one of the biggest in Europe, with over 36 million gamers and over 300 video gaming companies (including the likes of Ubisoft). Even way back in 2021, the gaming sector in France alone made over €5.65 billion, a whooping 40% increase from 2020. As well as well known events such as the Gaming Awards and Riot Games’ League of Legends Worlds, France is looking to host even more events before finishing the year making the country a staple within eSports.
In the past, one of the most prominent language focused organizations in “Académie Française” suggested that the common everyday use of English words within the country is leading to the degradation of France’s native language and culture.
Although this decree is an official order, it does not restrict the total use of these gaming terms for regular everyday citizens or any publications for that matter. As it is mainly focused first within government communication and inside the establishments. This means that the above mentioned terms will not be used in official work but will still be prominent among regular citizens.
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