Games, according to some, are a gateway drug to books, drawing players away from the screen to engage in some old-school page turning. According to The Times, everyone from teachers to authors are embracing the idea of using video games to help encourage children to read, while nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is even offering grants in hopes that game design principles can be used to help build literacy and other skills in school-agers.

Interesting as this is, it's not exactly new information, is it? As far back as the early '70s young'ns were getting a leg up in schools learning about the dysentery-filled life of 19th century pioneers in The Oregon Trail, while other edutainment and even mainstream titles like Civilization have helped spark interest in the word outside of games as well. Still, it's encouraging to see efforts that try to bridge education with our hobby of choice. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish up these last few pages of Animal Farm before getting back to Viva Piñata.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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