A recent study carried out in the UK has found playing video games has a positive effect on children’s literacy. It also helps creativity as well as helping them deal with emotional struggles and depression
The Association of UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE), Penguin Random House Children’s and The National Literacy Trust have carried out research on 4,626 young people aged 11 to 16. The research was aimed to identify any relationships between the reading level of a child and video games.
During lockdown children have felt emotional difficulties. Schools have been closed and due to social distancing regulations many children are not able to see their friends. Parents have stated that playing video games and being able to communicate with friends and family via that media has been positive in regards to their childrens wellbeing. But that’s not all. The research carried out by UKIE et al. has identified that many young gamers have been helped to deal with depression, stress and other emotional turmoil experienced.
According to the results 73% of children, who are normally unenthusiastic readers, stated that they felt more in-tune with the story of a video game. It made them feel like part of that dialogue. 65% of players agreed that they were easily able to imagine being the character they were controlling. This adds understanding to empathy and enhances creativity.
During lockdown it was estimated that 60% of parents felt that video game communication has helped ease the stress of government restrictions on their children.
Having the ability to play a part of a story has been around far longer than video games. Theatres with audience participation, the sharing of stories around a camp fire and role-playing games such as Dungeon’s & Dragon’s have proved useful tools for creative escapism. But video games take this one step further. They allow the gamer to play solo, as part of a deep narrative, or with friends. Video games have allowed audiences from around the world to interact and learn from each other. This is without prejudice – opening up doorways to experiences, and cultures, that were not available twenty years ago.
Do you allow your children to play video games? What benefits do you feel they get from these experiences? Comment below.