Three Ways Video Games Can Help Kids to Love Books

by Rachel Baker on January 15, 2014

I love this article, mostly! The more of a gamer I’ve become, the more I’ve seen ways teaching “the love of the story” to kids could be done better in the classrooms. I think a great deal of the problem is that our schools teach reading and not literature (especially to 11 year olds), and they refuse to believe there’s any other way to teach children…frankly, I think our technology is developing faster than our teachers’ abilities to keep up.

The original title of this article (and it iss at the link below) is Four ways video games can help kids to love books. I’ve changed it, because I think the author’s number 4 is not necessarily an idea that would work in our household – using video games as a carrot; and I also don’t understand why you want to dangle anything in front of a kid like a carrot…they aren’t horses. …but to each their own.

We actually use video games as references to similar story lines in other books. Combine the two. I disliked Assassin’s Creed anything until I realized the historical and literary value of the storyline – because I played it – and now…I think if done right, it could be an amazing teaching tool! I hope my 12 year old will gravitate to it at some point, but if not on her own, I’ll just wait until she’s taking American history and studying the American Revolution and play AC3 in front of her every chance I get.

Intruders steal in at night to visit my 11-year-old son. Announcements about their arrivals pop up at the bottom of my TV screen like news updates. They say things like: “DarkNite17 is online” and “Whiz3rd109 is online.” They are my son’s would-be gaming associates and my hypocrisy has opened the door. If I wasn’t up late binging on “House of Cards” on Netflix, if I was reading a book instead, the Xbox wouldn’t be on, and I wouldn’t be viewing this roster of visiting gamers.

My son is a strong student, but I think video games have hurt him from reading as much as he should. It’s mostly my fault—I bought him most of his books, and most of his games. But I don’t hate games—in fact, I really like them. Literature can learn something from videogames.

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