Illiterates can't play karaoke, what about other games?

From the BBC comes a report on how the sad state of literacy education in Britain affects something we all care about: Karaoke!

Research from the Get On literacy campaign estimates that 17.8 million of the roughly 60 million people in Great Britain can't follow along to the quickly scrolling karaoke lyrics in songs like "I Will Survive" and "Mustang Sally." The situation might not be much better in America -- while over 99 percent of American adults are technically literate, up to 15 million Americans may be functionally illiterate and unable to process complex written sentences or math problems.

Besides the obvious examples of games that rely on readinglyrics, there are many other games that might be completely inaccessible to these functionally illiterate populations. While many games these days feature full voice acting for every character, games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess still require a lot of reading to move the game and story along. Other games that rely on written puzzles or complex written instructions might be out-of-reach for millions of adults and children. Then again, these types of games can also provide great motivation for players to improve their reading skills in order to move on.

Are game makers neglecting illiterate gamers by not including more accessible direction, or should basic reading skills be considered a prerequisite for gaming (as they are for living in a modern society)?

[Via We Make Money Not Art]