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Like many modern folks, I grew up with videogames. More specifically, a Nintendo 64 and five games for it: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Kart 64, Jet Force Gemini, Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and LoZ: Majora's Mask.
Other than Mario Kart, these games have text that is important to the gameplay, in gameplay. The Legend of Zelda games and Jet Force Gemini were especially text heavy. When I was a wee lad, barely able to hold the controller correctly, I needed my father to read all the text out loud to me.
But my father worked long, long hours to keep us afloat. When he got home he'd usually be exhausted. I remember one day, he got home and was too tired to want to read me the text, he just wanted to relax. This was when I was four years old, having learned the alphabet and how to put the letters together but not quite how to read, not just yet. I was playing Ocarina of Time, and asked him to tell me what it said on the screen. "I just got home from work, I don't want to read for you," he said. "Why don't you just play one of the games that don't need you to read?"
Well, I didn't do that. Instead I studied the letters on the screen, scrutinized them. I knew my ABCs and all that jive, I had all the puzzle pieces; but it was the actual putting together of the puzzle that was difficult. But I did it. I managed to read all the text on the screen. I was agonizingly slow at first, but as time went on and I played more, no longer needing my father to read it for me or wanting him to, I became practiced and so I learned to read.
So the next time some old fool tells you videogames will rot a young person's brain, you tell them from me that a videogame can teach a child one of the most important lessons, give them one of the most important gifts they will ever receive in the whole of their lives.
I'm pretty sure I learned English from video games.
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They probably didn't teach me to read outright but text heavy games, specifically Final Fantasy IV through IX definitely gave me an advantage in my early years.
I'm not that big of a fan of reading literature, so video games have definitely contributed a lot towards my English. Today, I always make sure to toggle subtitles on, especially in heavily spoken games so I make sure that I don't miss any details.
I believe that the older generation which criticizes the younger ones forget to understand this, but with the current representation of gaming, it's hard to see that way compared to previous times.
It helped to have an upbringing of text heavy games for sure. But it wasn't them alone that made me able to read.
I'm pretty sure playing video games at a young age gave me a huge head start in English class in school. By the time they finally started teaching us English I already had a decent, basic vocabulary and while I've never been good with languages, I was amongst the people with the highest grade for the English exam in high school.
So yeah, it's a good tool to get familiar with a foreign language or to learn to read like in your case.
I never thought of it like that before, quite interesting. I guess it did help me with my english now that I look back it.
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