Libraries in the county of Prima, Arizona are testing to see whether videogames make kids smarter or not. The experiment is part of a larger study conducted by the American Library Association into what impact games have on the literacy of children. Prima County is one of a dozen in the United States to participate in the study.
One library branch, Pima County’s Quincie Douglas, runs a games club on Wednesday afternoons where “teens and preteens rock out to video games like Karaoke and Guitar Hero.” Golly! But surely they mean SingStar… And don’t worry, all the games played are rated “E” for everyone.
If nothing else, the program is getting kids into the library more often than they otherwise would. Eleven year-old Austin Alibi-Isama said, “Usually I don’t really like to come to the library because it’s kind of boring. But since they have video games and stuff, I like coming to the library a lot.”
If the research proves that games do have a positive impact on the literacy of children, then the American Library Association plans to roll out a videogame curriculum for use in all libraries.