Decried as spaces of alienation or celebrated as new cultural and artistic utopias, the relatively recent success, in France, of virtual worlds, such as World of Warcraft or Second Life, today raises a large number of questions around, for example, the distinction between real and virtual and the risk, according to some, of a confusion of genders: players marry "for fakes", "real" funerals are celebrated, virtual political demonstrations are organized.. The thesis of "escapism" (of flight from reality) is sometimes formulated. Even more present in the literature but also in the political, educational and medical world, the question of "addiction to video games" or "cyberaddiction" is frequently discussed. Through edifying reporting subjects, the media have spectacularly taken hold of these new Internet gambling practices around their misdeeds, real or supposed. By freeing itself from a certain number of moral panics in favor of an empirical analysis of practices, this book offers an ethnography of virtual worlds and the inhabitants who frequent them. Who are the players? How old are they? How long do they play? What types of activities do they engage in? Of what nature are the relationships woven in these universes? Beyond a simple but necessary sociological account, this work aims to analyze the notion of virtual experience, understood as what these digital worlds "do and make their inhabitants do", how they are experienced, what meanings they produce, what knowledge and skills they mobilize. Behind the analysis of these virtual universes, the relationship between play and informal learning is thus questioned.
L'expérience virtuelle : jouer, vivre, apprendre dans un jeu vidéo