I think that this article poses a few good points about the relationship between reading and video gaming. Hell, I think that most people who play roleplaying games at the very least enjoy reading some hot, steaming piles of fiction every once in a while. What do you think about it, humanoids?
It’s a story I tell all the time, but certainly valid here. Video games taught me how to read. Seriously. I’d watch my borther and sister play RPGs or anything with text, and constantly bug them to find out what it said. After a while, I jsut started reading them. Even my own mother was surprised at that. But she always quick to bring it up at PTA meetings with parents complaining about how video games rot a kids mind, and note how I was the only kid in elementary school to read Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, and Treasure island before sixth grade. Fun.
I still remember my first video game-inspired vocabulary addition: “licentious”. Guess which game. 8p
The only reason I can read insanely fast, average 140 WPM, and know words like “quaff”, “lithe”, “ethereal”, and “ostentatious” is because of MUDs
Growing up, it was kinda the opposite for me. I had to read for an hour and practice my hanja(Korean characters) before I was allowed to play video games…After my mom(who is Korean), and my dad(white guy) split, I gave up on hanja. I read(English) well, but my ability to write(and read)hanja is shit. Words like quaff, lithe, ethereal, ostentatious, etc. I learned while playing AD&D 2e. As for reading really fast, I learned that by setting message speed to fast in DW games.
While I didn’t learn how to read from videogames directly (I"ll attribute that to such literary classics as Go Dog Go and Bearstein Bears) it was my primary source of education from 1996 to 2000.
Heh, I have a similar story to VE. I basically learned how to read phonetically by doing exactly what he did.
Talk about nostalgia. I remember opening up my mini-dictionary during the opening moments of FFV on the PSX - as Cecil mused about the “chivalrous knight” that he once admired and how far the King of Baron had fallen from that memory, I was learning exactly what meant.
Gosh, I was such a nerd - and I remember Vagrant Story and the love of language that was poured into it’s script. Final Fantasy XII had some moments (if you could listen between all the deep breathing and decipher the words through all the soft tones all the characters seemed to have) of brilliant wordplay used to dramatic effect.
RPG’s can certainly help stimulate a love of reading because RPG’s have to rely on developing a story more than any other genre to me - it certainly could help inspire folks at a yougn age to get into books. I used to read a lot of strategy guides, for example.
I’m still kind of that way too! I used to basically “study” all my strategy guides. My vocabulary has always seemed by above my grade level since elementary school, my spelling too. I did’t really become a grammar nazi until college when I had the real thing for a writing teacher.
I attribute a lot of that to RPGs and the reading they required. I really started playing them around the time FFVI came out and loved reading Goosebumps and Hardy Boys. Wow, now that’s really taking me back…
I gotta say that I’m in the minority here, in that I read books way before I played any games… In fact I didn’t have a game system until Grade 3 or something, and I was definitely reading youth novels by then. Unless you count hand-me-down computers with games like Frogger.
I always liked games more for how they looked visually as opposed to their literary aspect. If I wanted to read something generally I pick up a book, not a game. People are going to take different things from games, that’s for sure.
I was playing games long before I could read. However, I never played the games that would actually require reading; as in, RPGs, Adventures, and other text-heavy genres. My first RPG was actually Dragon Quest IV, and I didn’t play that until I was ten. By that point, I was already reading at an 8th grade level.
Which led to a degree in English, and a harsh lesson in having a degree in anything but medicine, law, or engineering.
I can see where the article is going. It has a good point, but part of the problem connecting books with games is that, in a book, the reader is in charge. It is they that must visually construct the world, the characters, and the setting. In a video game, the designers do all that for you, leaving to a quicker experience but a less imaginative one in many respects. But at the same time, the article shows a warming to the more positive aspects of gaming, and really, it’s about fucking time.
I neither play video games nor know how to read. Nerds.
Oh, I see you too get your senile uncle to search for forums unrelated to your interests so you can dictate what sort of negative responses to post in their forums. That’s so fun. Mine is named Sam.
No uncle of mine has seen the damn nile, you lollygagging hippie!
I’m sure video games helped me learn to read, if only as motivation, since I learned that by reading the little booklets you could get better at the game even if your coordination was shit.
I dunno about learnin to read but some games did inspire me to read…
The same SAT analogies section threw “panacea” and “elixir” at me. When I did the LSAT’s logic games and had to track dozens of variables at once, my only comparable experiences were designing character builds in Guild Wars and building Magic decks.
I’m curious about the story of people here who don’t have English as their first language. Many of my first games were language-free (Mario, Tetris, Metroid, sh’mups, SF, the works) and I got through the German version of Zelda:ALTTP without understanding much. I already read books in Greek, but it certainly helped that I got serious about learning English at the same time I got into more text-heavy games.
Even though I doubt there’s a fixed relationship between the games one plays and the books one may like, trying to reach out to more people, regardless of their reading habits, is certainly worthwhile.
RESTORE THE POWER OF THE ORBS!
You could have done the same if you’d been reading literary classics like Conan.
part of the problem connecting books with games is that, in a book, the reader is in charge. It is they that must visually construct the world, the characters, and the setting. In a video game, the designers do all that for you, leaving to a quicker experience but a less imaginative one in many respects.
I still filled the gaps in games where things were left unexplained, hinted to more or allowed for plausible events. Breath of Fire II was more than a bunch of cities with characters boasting little more than flair, Fallout’s wilderness hid more things than you could hope to find with your silly PipBoy (ok, that’s heresy) and that old RTS where a wrong move wiped you out was a full action movie*.
*a pretty bad one, given my taste back then.
I wince when I even hear the section of that test mentioned. Reading Comprehension is a snap. Logical Reasoning becomes second nature oonce you get in the right mindset. But those Logic Games drive me crazy.