More than a third (35.3%) of the children who play said they believe video games make them better readers -- with the vast majority (79.4%) saying they read materials related to gaming once a month. The materials included in-game communications, reviews and books.
All that reading may also be helping players improve their writing. About 3 in 5 (62.5%) young people who play video games also write something related to gaming once a month, the survey found. Many write blogs and fan fiction. The "shared cultural experience" of gaming also supports positive communication with friends and family, according to researchers.
Parents have long debated the impact of video games on children's minds. Now, a new survey suggests that playing may actually improve their literacy, communication skills and overall mental well-being.
"It’s important to recognize that, even as the gaming universe continues to expand, Minecraft stands as a unique experience in digital games. I can think of no other game that exemplifies creativity and autonomy in play in quite the same way. I have heard it compared to digital LEGOs (another worthwhile classroom tool) which is apt, as they both provide an open space for students to easily create directly from their imagination the world as they envision it. And while I love LEGOs, Minecraft is definitely easier to build in scale and clean up, not to mention less likely to hurt your foot in a misstep. Minecraft gives children a way to use their creative faculties in an environment unbound by rules."