French President Emmanuel Macron has been mocked online after posting a 500-word apology to people who play video games.
The head of state – who previously blamed such games for contributing to recent rioting in France – posted a grovelling message insisting that he appreciates the medium and intends to support it in the future.
“I have always considered that video games are an opportunity for France, for our youth and its future, for our jobs and our economy,” he said, admitting that he had “startled” gamers with his recent statement casting aspersions on the medium.
J’ai fait bondir les gamers.
J’ai pourtant toujours considéré que les jeux vidéo sont une chance pour la France, pour notre jeunesse et son avenir, pour nos emplois et notre économie.
Je veux être (plus) clair.…
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 16, 2023
“Video games are a culture, an entertainment, a spectacle!” he added. “Video games are an integral part of France.”
Macron’s apology does not appear to have gone down well with netizens, many of whom have instead taken to mocking the length of Macron’s page-and-a-half post on X.
“I needed 5 ventolins to finish the tweet,” one user wrote.
Another said that they had enough “time to knit a cardigan” while reading the post. One user begged X owner Elon Musk to return the platform’s universal 144-character limit “for the good of humanity”.
French President Emmanuel Macron is barely over a year into his second term but it appears many are already anticipating the end of his tenure. https://t.co/IRIfAE1saF
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 15, 2023
The French President’s social media post – and his subsequent online roasting – appears to mark the end of yet another Macron controversy that had been nagging the leader in recent months.
Although not centre-stage in the French media due to the wealth of other scandals that have been plaguing France, his claim that video games contributed to recent rioting in the country provoked both national and international condemnation.
“Blaming something is a great way to escape the burden of responsibility,” wrote Katsuhiro Harada, a senior figure within the Japanese video-game industry involved in the production and release of popular series such as Tekken and Dark Souls.
Macron’s backtracking has been attributed to the recent success of France’s e-sports industry, with the President openly referencing an event held by the French competitive League of Legends team, Karmine Corp.
According to online statistics sites, a livestream for the competition maxed-out at 167,679 simultaneous viewers.
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) September 18, 2023