The gaming industry should use its power and influence to promote literacy, says a report by The Reading Agency published at the end of June. Gaming for Reading argues that computer games and other digital technologies could be used to develop the reading skills of those who struggle with literacy.
Millions in the UK play digital games every day and gaming is increasingly being viewed as a serious method of supporting skills development. Gaming for Reading states that learning practitioners in settings as varied as literacy classes, libraries and prisons have shown that digital technologies can help to improve literacy skills.
The report was launched at a roundtable discussion chaired by Tom Chatfield, author of Fun Inc.: Why games are the 21st century’s most serious business, with contributors including games developer Adrian Hon, writer and gamer Rhianna Pratchett and Markos Tiris from the Learning and Skills Improvement Service.
Mr Tiris highlighted the unique ability of gaming to engage young people. “Games make the link between informal learning – where people are engaged in something for fun – and more formal learning. We need to get the message out to the sector that it’s OK to use games”, he said.