Video games are recognized by many clinicians as useful tools for therapeutic mediation. The article aims to add to this work, by trying to focus on the value of the digital avatar as a support for verbalization, by presenting two young adolescents in a Day Hospital for children and adolescents who both participate in a group workshop using digital mediation.
Adolescence, 2022, 40, 2, 387-401.
Though the case of Arthur, a video game addict, we examine the rewriting of an adolescent fantasy using the screen, in the “après-coup” of the mirror phase, as a projective and reflexive surface. We consider a “video game phase”, as a rehearsal for the relationship to the Other, the Other sex. Here, the game is a transitional space that simulates relationships to both objects and subjects. It falls short, however, of providing a substitute for the encounter (tuchê) with the external world or for a real, physical relationship.
Adolescence, 2016, 34, 2, 309-318.
The phenomenon of the video game calls for a study of its risks. We have chosen to approach it from the perspective of addiction, since some subjects play video games to excess. We will try to see how the choice of the addiction object, the “ video game ”, reveals a history of narcissistic wounds involving real images but also self images. The video game shows us the anti-depressive struggle set up by the player through an avatar, a narcissistic double who possesses the anal talents sadly lacking in himself.
The technology of the virtual produces an area of illusion that is more and more captivating and engaging for adolescents faced with a reality that is sometimes experienced with anxiety. Video games are the royal road into this parallel domain, particularly through its implications for creativity, sublimation and identity. They play out the fantasy in an interactive form that combines activity and passivity. In adolescence, the incarnation of the heroes of video games based on the infantile heroic identification in its narcissistic dimension (ideal ego) would help to compensate for the loss of parental objects. But, the positive and subjectivating contribution of virtual identity depends on the permeability of this ludic sphere. The richness of the exchange between internal and external realities within this transitional area hinges on the real and reflexive presence of the other, so that the circuit of instances in play can be operative.
The avatar may be treated as a double of the self or as a companion, a guide whom one follows or a slave to whom one gives orders. But in any case, its owner is invited to engage here in three complementary forms of symbolization: sensory-motor, imaged, and verbal.
Thus it can embody a fragment of oneself, a person one has known, admired or feared, even someone that one has imagined on the basis of stories one has heard or a family legend. This exploration can enable the construction of a potential space or, on the contrary, foster disavowal. Asking a player to speak of the choice and the history of his avatar is an essential moment of psychotherapy.
Adolescence, 2009, T. 27, n°3, pp. 721-731.
Video games and educational computerprograms prove to be excellent supports for the clinical observation of behavior and of the man-machine relation. Children and video games inspire us to ask new questions about the transitional space they create. The virtual world is able to reveal how the subject interacts with his environment. What results from this are new hypotheses about the quality of perceptions and the apprehension of the object in the construction of the Ego and its emotional future.
Adolescence, 2009, T. 27, n°3, pp. 711-720.
In the past twenty years, video games have become firmly entrenched in our culture. Adolescents find in them spaces in which adolescent issues can be played out and re-played. Psychotherapists have started using them within the framework of therapeutic mediations. This paper reports the construction of a therapeutic arrangement: video game group therapy. This is conceived of as a working apparatus allowing for the stimulation and reception of affects and thoughts. This type of mediation is particularly interesting in the treatment of children and adolescents whose total inhibition initially compromises the therapeutic project. The notion of « ludo-landscape» characterizes a part of the psychical work which is summoned up by the video game. The case of Julien illustrates the work that was carried out.
Adolescence, 2009, T. 27, n°3, pp. 699-709.
For over-playing teenagers, the association of a videogame workshop and a talking moment seems to be an adequate therapy. The use of the videogame as the mediation object of the therapy allows for the emergence of feelings that might be elaborated through verbalization in a second step. It allows the teenagers to become aware of their own troubles, and consequently helps them to move away from them. Interactions facilitated by the well-disposed group strengthen the identificatory process, especially with the victims of school violence. At least one of the therapists should be very familiar with the videogame’s world, in order to facilitate the narcissistic revaluation process and the identification process.
Adolescence, 2009, T. 27, n°3, pp. 689-698.
The author goes back to the distinction D. W. Winnicott made between three forms of representational activity (daydreaming, dreaming and imagining) and shows that this distinction helps to establish a typology of ways of playing video games. These three ways of gaming differ both in the way objects shown on a screen are invested and in the way the gamer relates to his internal objects. This model breaks with that of addiction while laying the groundwork for a clinical and therapeutic approach to different categories of video game players.
Adolescence, 2012, 30, 1, 145-157.
RPG and MMORPG-type video games offer adolescents the opportunity to redynamize their belief processes, which have been blocked by archaic conflicts reactivated in puberty. They seem to help soothe the depressive affect proper to the pubertary through an manic investment of the virtual universe ; this enables the adolescent to invent a grandiose self, and to work at reconstructing a self that is grieving for childhood.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°4, pp. 815-821.