Dyslexia and Gaming: a perfect match?

I’ve always loved games. Whether it be board games or video games, they are always something that I have tried to make time for. So, you can imagine that when I saw an article the other week talking about the complementary relationship between dyslexia and gaming, I was pretty excited.

Whilst research is still at an early stage in this area, some have suggested that the dyslexic mind  is particularly suited to gaming. But why is this? There are various strengths associated with dyslexia, including our ability to visualise in 3D. With unique imagining abilities and a three-dimensional perspective, dyslexia’s compatibility with games makes a lot of sense. Thinking about board games or other ‘real life’ games, players are often required to imagine themselves within a different place or as a different character – something the dyslexic skill set is particularly attuned to.

Research into the ways dyslexics read and understand individual words is also insightful. Studies have shown that whilst neurotypical readers are able to identify letters in the middle of a row, dyslexics did better at identifying letters located in the outer areas of words. This suggests that dyslexics have strong periphery vision, a skill that is important to videogame play.

Whatever the reason for the match between dyslexia and gaming, the implications for the way we learn is incredibly exciting. From my own perspective, I certainly learned things better and faster at school when things were taught in the context of a game. Whilst I originally thought this was a personal preference, I am now wondering if this is a learning preference shared with other dyslexics. If so, then its easier to understand why traditional education does not work for many dyslexic people.

Whilst these ideas are fairly convincing, I’m no expert in this area and research in this area is ongoing. But I wonder, what do other dyslexics think? Do you find yourself playing games with ease? Do you learn better through game play? Please let me know in the comments, and also if you know of any interesting articles or research in this area, I’d love to hear about them! Until next time

 By Maddy Shepherd

Guest blogger