The National Literacy Trust, Penguin Random House Children’s and UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) have partnered up to commence research into the relationship between video games and literacy engagement amongst school children.
Secondary school children from across the UK will be surveyed in the coming months to discover how their interactive entertainment relates to their reading and writing.
The questions will be drawn up by the National Literacy Trust, with advice from a small selection of industry figures from both the publishing and games industries.
The data will then be collated in early 2020, with the results of this preliminary research due to be released in Spring 2020. This data will then be used to further shape activity between the partners, including exploring ways that video games could be used to support children’s literacy and to raise money to research this area in more depth.
The partnership emerged after an earlier survey from the National Literacy Trust indicated that games – and additional content around games, such as forum posts – formed a notable part of children’s reading habits when interacting through screens.
The survey of 2,000+ young people aged 11-16 found that almost three-quarters (73%) play video games regularly and two-thirds (63.3%) of these young people prefer playing video games to reading books because the games make them feel more part of the story.
The purpose of this research is to further investigate the ways that children read and write as a result of playing games in order to help explore the potential benefits games may have for literacy engagement.
Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said:
“Giving children and young people opportunities to read texts that reflect their interests can increase their reading engagement and attainment – whether they’re interested in dance, sport or video games. Video games are part of everyday life for many, and our initial research shows that they are providing young people with exciting opportunities to become part of a story and to read more widely. We are keen to explore the relationship between video games and literacy further through our partnership with Ukie and Penguin Random House Children’s.”
Francesca Dow, Managing Director, Penguin Random House Children’s said:
“Penguin Random House Children’s has a long and celebrated history of publishing some of the world’s best-loved children’s books and is always finding new ways to reach more young readers. With this exciting new partnership we believe that together we can have a positive impact in supporting literacy, sparking imaginations and bringing stories to life for children everywhere.”
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said:
“Games are not only enormous fun, feeding the imaginations of millions of people; they can also tell profound, engaging stories that captivate players across all age groups at a global scale. This research will give us an opportunity to understand the relationship between games and literacy. This will provide valuable evidence to inform educators, caregivers and others to help understand how we can shape literacy engagement through something young people already find hugely compelling.”
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