Can Video Games Make Dyslexic Children Read Better?


May 4, 2013
While the contention that video games are bad for kids is slowly, stubbornly slipping from the public conscious, it seems that study at the other end of the spectrum – how video games might be good for children – is still very much in its infancy, and often met with scepticism and disdain.

A recent example of this is a paper published in Current Biology earlier this year from The University of Padua, bearing the eye-catching title “Action Video Games Make Dyslexic Children Read Better.” The title is largely self-explanatory: the study claimed to show that young children aged 7-13 with dyslexia, a mental condition that can greatly hinder reading ability, could read faster after 80 minute play sessions of select minigames from Rayman Raving Rabbids. In some cases the results were equivalent to or even exceeded the effects of a whole year of traditional therapy. Such bold conclusions quickly drew headlines which, unsurprisingly, were followed by criticism from some in the field of neuroscience. I decided to investigate further.

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