Reading for gaming

One in six UK adults struggles with reading and writing, yet millions play games every day that involve them in reading and could help them develop their literacy skills.

Since 2010 we've been exploring ways in which the motivational power of digital games might be used to engage people who struggle with printed text and might never pick up a traditional book. Funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, this work has enabled us to:
- review research on the role of games within the adult learning and skills sector
- consider a range of games for their accessiblity and applicability for adult literacy learning for inclusion on our Find a Read database
- commission a research and development process from games developer PlayGen to create two gaming approaches for the Six Book Challenge - a 'choose your own adventure' narrative texting game for use on mobile phones and a social game designed to engage participants in online discussion and challenges
- discuss findings from this process at a think tank
- publish Game On: Ways of using digital games to engage learners in reading for pleasure which includes recommendations for policymakers, researchers, practitioners, games developers and publishers

This work builds on an earlier report, Gaming for Reading: A feasibility study on the use of video games to engage adults with low literacy in reading for pleasure, published in June 2010 and the subsequent roundtable discussion.

You can download both reports from the Resources section on the right of this page.

We're now taking forward this work in a number of ways. Funding permitting, this includes development of the two gaming approaches mentioned above to support the Six Book Challenge. Please contact Genevieve Clarke if you would like to get involved.