Playing action games might boost reading skills in Dyslexic children, according to a new study published in Current Biology on Feb. 28.
The study looked at two groups of dyslexic children. One group played action games, the other non-action games. Both groups played their respective games for nine 80 minute sessions. The results were striking--children who played action games were able to read faster and more accurately than their counterparts. They also improved in other tests of attention.
Evidence from this study supports the idea that the roots of dyslexia lay in visual attention deficits. The often frenetic nature of action games forced dyslexic children to focus more efficiently in order to pull out information they needed to be successful in the game. This intensified focus apparently translated to the realm of the written word as well.
Further study is needed to understand specifically how dyslexia works. The condition effects one out of every ten children, and is characterized by difficulties with reading comprehension. So far, no approved treatments for dyslexia include action video games.