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Dyslexia Assessments

Dyslexia and Video Games 101

Love them or hate them, as parents, our children can’t get enough of video games! Whilst regulating their use is important to ensuring a child’s healthy development, during the school holidays there’s always going to be those weather-dependent days where activity options are limited, and video games can help ease the boredom factor. For those drizzly days, video games have become a popular choice for people of all ages.

In this blog, we will talk you through how you can best make video games a dyslexia friendly experience, and stimulating for your child.

At Dyslexia First we are relentlessly positive about Dyslexia, and we believe it is incredibly important that dyslexic individuals have an inclusive environment where they can grow and prosper.

Optimizing Video Game Settings for Dyslexics:

With all manner of content flying across a screen at a rate of knots, it can be difficult for a dyslexic individual to engage with a video game. However, there are now several helpful settings and features that make video games much more inclusive.

Text Size/Speed: With most games, you can expect to read some form of dialogue. Fortunately, most games now have text speed and text size options, allowing you to slow the pace at which text appears on screen, all while making it easier to read. This can revolutionize the whole experience for an individual that typically finds it difficult to read game dialogue.

Audio: With the advancements in storytelling, most games now contain voice actors. If your child struggles with reading, voice actors help tell an engaging story to any gamer. It is important to note that some games are read only, which is traditionally more common with games on the Nintendo platform.

Colour: Choosing certain colour formats can make games much easier on the eyes of a dyslexic individual. What’s great about newer games is that they typically include a range of colour settings. The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) recommends avoiding green and red/pink, as these colours are difficult for those who have colour vision deficiencies (colour blindness).

Opacity: Most games also come with extremely helpful opacity features, allowing you to change the contrast between text and other visuals. The BDA recommends using dark coloured text on a light (not white) opacity background.

Video Games and Nurturing Dyslexic Individuals:

According to a study in 2013, researchers at the University of Padua in Italy found that 10 kids with dyslexia who played an action-filled video game for nine 80-minute sessions yielded a significant improvement in their reading speed. These reading gains lasted at least two months and outpaced gains measured in 10 children with dyslexia who played a nonaction version of the same game.

Due to action video games requiring players to constantly redirect their attention to different targets, neuroscientist Simone Gori and his colleagues believe that video games might fine-tune that spotlight.

Gori and his team even found that the reading improvements exceeded those obtained in children after traditional therapies for dyslexia. Gori does not advocate abandoning other methods but suggests that training visual attention could be a vital, overlooked component.

Whilst this was only a small study the results provide an important insight, and not to mention provide a strong argument for more research into the area.


To conclude, the advancements in video games have paved the way to some great accessibility features, like text size settings, colour settings, and audio settings.

Gaming is a hobby that we always recommend you regulate as a parent. However, with carefully supervised use it can have benefits. With the improved accessibility features, your child can now feel more included too. Not to mention of course that it might give you 5 minutes of peace.  

Please do consult other sources and use age ratings on games to measure whether they are suitable for your child.

About Dyslexia First

At Dyslexia First we want to help those who are living with dyslexia to enjoy life and the opportunities it brings. We are relentlessly positive about dyslexia.

If you would like to talk further about dyslexia and discuss assessment for children or adults, please get in touch.

Getting assessed by a qualified practitioner is crucial to getting the correct diagnosis and accessing the help and support you need for your child. Always check an assessor’s qualifications at: SpLD Assessment Standards Committee website.