(CNN)Parents have long debated the impact of video games on children's minds. Now, a new survey suggests that playing may actually improve their literacy, communication skills and overall mental well-being.
Video games help children improve literacy, communication and mental well-being, survey finds
National Literacy Trust interviewed 4,626 people between the ages of 11 and 16 from across the UK for the video games survey. The interviews were conducted between November and December 2019.
More than a third (35.3%) of the children who play said they believe video games make them better readers -- with the vast majority (79.4%) saying they read materials related to gaming once a month. The materials included in-game communications, reviews and books.
All that reading may also be helping players improve their writing. About 3 in 5 (62.5%) young people who play video games also write something related to gaming once a month, the survey found. Many write blogs and fan fiction.
The "shared cultural experience" of gaming also supports positive communication with friends and family, according to researchers.
The survey found that 3 in 4 (76.3%) young people who play talk to their friends about video games, compared to only 3 in 10 (29.4%) who discuss books.
"Young people said that playing video games helps them to build social connections both 'in real life' and online," the researchers said.
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