A recent article in the NY Times discussed the new video games that provoke youngsters into …. Gasp …. Reading. I think it could certainly help while it will never motivate huge numbers to pick up actual books. I remember the same discussion years ago about comic books. Kids would get criticized for reading that “junk” but at least it gave them experience in reading. Most kids won’t read anything past a certain age unless they are forced to in school. That is part of the problem I guess. In public school you are forced to be in class about 7 hours a day and learn what they tell you to learn. So when you get home the last thing you want to do is read more, even about subject you enjoy. I have read many, many more books since I left school than when I was in school. It’s my fault for not taking advantage of books when I was younger but at least I learned the skill and now I can use it to the fullest extent.
If these video games just kick start the process of enjoying reading then I think it is a great idea. Reading is one of the most powerful weapons we have. Once you can read there is nothing you cannot learn. It is the key to education obviously. If a kid lives in a poor family & community sometimes his only hope is reading. Without it he may never know there is a better life out in the world for him. He may not have a good role model in his home but his books can introduce him to many heroes to inspire him. Watching TV will rarely make you smarter while audio books are much more valuable. Reading is even more valuable as you absorb the information much better.