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Portrait
Digital

Jean Zeid

Video games are not just an industry, a form of entertainment or a leisure activity. They are also an art form.

A long-time radio host, Jean Zeid brought video games to the radio in 2010 with his weekly reports on France Info. Since then, he has published books and held exhibitions on the subject. 

Published on 01/02/2022

5 min

The son of a soldier, Jean Zeid, born in 1971, spent most of his childhood moving from one place to another, in France and abroad. He belongs to the first generation of teenagers who grew up with video games, from Pong to Nintendo's Game Watch. In parallel to this youthful love of video games, Jean Zeid quickly became interested in cinema: in addition to a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Toulouse, he also obtained a DEUG from the École Supérieure Audiovisuelle. However, his career started in journalism, first at Europe 2 and then at RMC, where he presented cultural reports. He then moved to Paris and joined the editorial staff of Le Mouv', where he hosted the morning show in 2007. At France Info in 2010, he finally managed to convince the management to let him host a weekly slot on video games. This was largely unheard of in mainstream media. 

Convinced that video games should be given the recognition they deserve, Jean Zeid made himself known to audiences with his daily reports on France Info devoted to video games. Specialised in new technologies, the audiovisual and entrepreneurship sectors, he also organises exhibitions on video games, such as in 2017 at the EDF Foundation ("GAME: Le jeu vidéo à travers le temps") and in 2019 at the Cité du Design in Saint-Etienne, where he curated the exhibition "Design moi un jeu vidéo". The first of these two events, attended by nearly 120,000 visitors, gave rise to a book, Game: le jeu vidéo à travers le temps (2017), which followed in 2018 by a second publication, Art et jeu vidéo. In this book, Jean Zeid reflects on the legitimacy of video games as an artistic practice, and examines the links that unite them with other art forms such as architecture, painting and cinema. 

Jean Zeid is regularly asked to organise and take part in public events devoted to video games: as part of the Presse Start festival at the Centre Pompidou, or during the Game Conf, organised by the Pôle Image Magelis in Angoulême. Since 2021, he has also been in charge of selecting the 50 French video game personalities of the year for the Gaming Campus of Tomorrow Lab. Always thinking about his next book, he recently released Cyberpunk - Histoire(s) d'un futur imminent, in collaboration with Stéphanie Chaptal and Sylvain Nawrocki, a book that looks back at a genre that has seen a true revival in recent years. He currently works for the Belgian foundation Arts Publics, dedicated to training and cultural mediation, particularly in the field of video games. 

  • 1971

    1971

    Born in Marseille.

  • 1997

    1997

    Starts his career as a radio host at Europe 2.

  • 2010

    2010

    Starts a weekly column on video games on France Inter.

  • 2017

    2017

    GAME: Le jeu vidéo à travers le temps, exhibition at the EDF Foundation.

  • 2018

    2018

    Art et jeu vidéo, published by Palette.

  • 2020

    2020

    Cyberpunk - Histoire(s) d'un futur imminent, published by Ynnis, in collaboration with Stéphanie Chaptal and Sylvain Nawrocki.

The Institut français

The Institut français launched IFdigital, the new website dedicated to French digital creation (digital art, immersive experience, video games, innovative books, cultural education and web creation) on 24 November 2021. 

Discover IFdigital 

L'institut français, LAB