Reading and Video Games Go Together Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter!
This is the first in our new “TechBrainiacs Tips” series offering technology tips for parents and kids. Check back here for more tips coming soon. Also, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be notified about new classes, tips, discount offers, and more! Please get in touch and let us know if you have a tip we can share with the rest of our visitors.
In the decades old battle between books and video games to capture the attention of children, it would certainly seem that video games have taken the lead. Playing games. Watching videos of games. Watching videos of OTHER PEOPLE playing games (really!). It seems like the average kid spends about half their life in some virtual world or another these days. And that can be a great thing, especially in regards to building reading skills and vocabulary.
You may not realize it, but nearly every game that contains speech (and that’s most of them these days) will have an option in the game menu to turn on subtitles or closed captioning. Turn it on! This will allow your child to read along, either silently or out loud, with the characters on screen.
Even if what they are seeing and heading is beyond their reading level, they are still improving their word recognition and vocabulary in a way they wouldn’t be otherwise. For many gamers, having the text on screen also aids in the ability to comprehend and keep track of the story. Added bonus: now you can tell them to turn the noise down for a while and play on mute. They won’t miss out on too much IF they read along!
Some games even allow you to turn down the speech volume independently of any other sounds. Here’s an idea for a family activity. Find a game with many different speaking characters, assign each family member a role or two, and add the voices for the game yourself live in your living room!
YouTube also supports closed captioning in many cases and I recommend having your child turn it on when watching videos from Stampy, PewDiePie, and whoever else the youngins are watching at the moment.
Please get in touch and let us know if you decide to start, or have already been, using subtitles as a way to bring reading and video games together. Thanks very much for reading!