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New research demonstrates the positive impact of videogames on young people's literacy

They can also help with creativity, empathy and wellbeing
New research demonstrates the positive impact of videogames on young people's literacy

Research published today by the National Literacy Trust shows that videogames can help young people with their literacy, creativity and wellbeing.

The report, which is part of a joint initiative between the National Literary Trust, the Association of UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) and Penguin Random House Children’s, involved a survey of 4,262 young people aged between 11 and 16 in the UK.

We've summarised the findings of the report below.

  • Video games can provide young people with a route into reading and writing, with 79% reading and 63% writing game-related materials regularly
  • Three quarters (73%) of reluctant readers say playing video games helps them feel like they are part of a story, while two-thirds (65%) say video games help them imagine being someone else, suggesting potential benefits for empathy
  • 3 in 5 (58%) young people declared an interest in writing or designing video games
  • Almost two thirds (60%) of parents say communicating with friends via video games during lockdown has helped their child’s mental wellbeing
  • Potential benefits of video games for literacy are strongest for boys and reluctant readers

Helpful hobby

In a press release discussing the research Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: "We know that video games are a part of everyday life for so many children, young people and families across the UK, so it is exciting to uncover the opportunities that video game playing can provide for young people to engage in reading, stimulate creativity through writing, enhance communication with friends and family, and support empathy and wellbeing.

"COVID-19 has significantly disrupted young people’s literacy and learning in recent months, and we want to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to identifying new and innovative ways to support children’s literacy when they return to school in September.

"Through our partnership with Ukie and Penguin Random House Children’s, we hope to be able to provide families and schools with the resources and tools they need to best harness the benefits of video games for young people’s literacy."

You can find more details on the research, as well as a raft of resources for young people and parents, on the National Literary Trust's website by clicking here.

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