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Good morning, boys and girls. Welcome to another episode of Actually, Video Games Really Aren't That Bad For You So Maybe It's Time To Lay Off Them. This week, we're taking a look at yet another study that suggests gamers aren't all violent little anti-Christs hell-bent on beating their grans to death with baseball bats.
Yes, as it turns out, video games aren't the sole root of every single problem in the world. In fact, it's now being suggested that kids who game regularly - which is to say a few times a week for reasonable amounts of time - are actually more inclined to benefit from their experience than they are to don a trucker hat and forge a crystal meth empire. Who knew? Most of us, probably, but it's always nice to have studies to show any cynical parents out there.
A new study conducted in the UK by the National Literacy Trust has found that video games can serve as a genuine route in reading and creative writing, improving literacy skills and emotional wellbeing in the process.
4,626 young people aged 11 to 16 were surveyed in the UK. Almost three quarters (73%) of them said that gaming helps them feel like they're part of a story, which in turn inspires their own creativity and literacy skills. 65% said that video games could help them really imagine being someone else, which of course implies a level of a genuine empathy.
Meanwhile, 60% of the parents interviewed said that they recognised gaming's ability to keep their kids in contact with friends and family during lockdown. They added that this was clearly important to the mental wellbeing of their children. As someone who could only really talk to their friends through Call Of Duty: Warzone for the first few months of lockdown, I can vouch for this.
Jonathan Douglas, chief executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: "This research absolutely suggests that mechanisms that young people themselves already enjoy are the best ways to get them into the wider pattern of reading and writing.
"It's 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."
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