In December 2013, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of its establishment, FDJ (Française des Jeux) held a series of roundtables to discuss the impact of gaming on our society and lives. The event was part of a five-day exhibition at the Gaîté Lyrique, designed by Clémence Farell as a large gaming room. It brought together diverse personalities, such as TV host Denis Brogniart, tennis player Marion Bartoli and sailor Isabelle Autissier.
Gaming is more than just a scratch ticket on Friday the 13th: it is present in every aspect of our lives, as evidenced by the game theory, which studies how the decision-making strategies of economic players depend on what moves they expect other players to make. Roundtables dealt with the following questions: “Can you rely on luck?”, “What role does chance play in our lives?”, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained?”. Philosopher Raphaël Enthoven introduced the conferences by underlining the ambiguous nature of games, which are considered both a frivolous pastime and a political matter. According to him, “games belong to the very essence of man”, insofar as they help him escape and daydream.
Since 2010, FDJ has supported social science research on games, for instance with the Jeu & Sociétés (Game and Societies) forum in partnership with the Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité (CERLIS) and Paris 13-Sorbonne Paris Cité (LSHS) universities. Such initiatives show that gaming is more than plain entertainment; rather, it is a social construct that says a lot about society.