Old people, video games and french press: A topic model approach on a study about discipline, entertainment and self-improvement.

Gabrielle Lavenir, Nicolas Bourgeois


Over the past few years, the French mainstream press has paid more and more attention to "silver gamers", adults over sixty who play video games. This article investigates the discursive and normative paradigms that underlie the unexpected enthusiasm of the French mainstream press for older adults who play video games. We use mixed methods on a corpus of French, Swiss and Belgian articles that mention both older people and video games. First, we produce topics, that is, sets of words related by their meanings and identified with a Bayesian statistical algorithm. Second, we cross the topic model results with a discursive analysis of selected articles. We preface the topic modeling's conclusions with a discussion of the representations of older people and video games in European French-language mainstream media. Our analysis explores how the press coverage of older people who play video games simultaneously erases moral panic about video games and reinforces the discourse of "successful ageing".


Video Games; Ageing; Press; Lexicometry; Topic Model

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/mediekultur.v33i63.24749

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