France bans official use of ‘esports’, ‘pro-gamer’ and more

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For those unaware, France has several government departments dedicated to the “purity” of the French language – ensuring that few English (or other, but largely predominantly English) terms enter common usage in French. . Their argument is that it is more difficult for people to communicate if the language is diluted with another’s words. This week, they targeted various player words to switch to French versions.

The ban includes “esports”, “pro-gamer”, “streamer” and “cloud gaming”. In order, they are now “competitive video game”, “professional gamer”, “live gamer-host” and “cloud video game”. Of course, the French government won’t be kicking down doors to check people’s homes, but it makes it law to use these terms as a government official in various contexts – teaching, for example, or documentation/politics.

As explained by The Guardian, the departments in charge of this have been working on it for more than 100 years at this point. It’s certainly an old-fashioned, short-sighted view of the world, given the inevitability of language evolving and the homogenization of, well, everything, given enough time. That said, breaking down the “barrier of understanding for non-gamers” is a good goal and helps de-stigmatize the industry. Especially important in boardrooms and super senior environments where clarity is required and many standards of play may not be accepted or familiar.

Written by Ben Barrett on behalf of GL HF.

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