Gaming Can Help With Dyslexia
Some people may regard me as dyslexic due to my frequent and somewhat unfathomable typos but alas I can’t use that as an excuse because I’m just terrible at proof-reading. In fact I was considering throwing in a purposeful dyslexic typo but decided against it because it would simply blend in with whatever other typos may creep into this article. So while gaming usually gets the rough end of the stick from science, society and the media it isn’t all that bad and sometimes someone comes along and disproves all the crackpot theories about gaming out there. Today we’ve got what might just be a crackpot theory or it could be something to think about.
The University of Padua published a paper on Thursday entitled, “Action Video Games Make Dyslexic Children Read Better.” The study claims to “demonstrate that only 12 hr of playing action video games—not involving any direct phonological or orthographic training—drastically improve the reading abilities of children with dyslexia.”
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Oh, you’ve never heard of the University of Padua? Neither have I and the proxy settings here at UCT seem to allow everything from eGamer to torrent downloads but have a vendetta against Google. Most curious.
The experiment took children aged between 7 and 13 and split them into two groups. The first group had nine 80 min sessions with Rayman Raving Rabbids played a more subdued game (probably something boring and dull like Journey). Thereafter the kids’ reading skills were tested and the results showed that those who had played RRR were able to read faster and more accurately than the other group.
the authors of this study hypothesised that video games honed players’ visual attention spans and the ability to quickly extract information from the environment – two invaluable skills in proficient reading.
It’s an interesting finding and one that contradicts the conventional wisdom which asserts that video games are cancerous to young, developing minds. It may just be me but while I’m very intrigued by the findings here, I can’t help but wonder if this is one of those study’s where they worked towards an eventual outcome rather than seeing what came out at the end.